Originally created 03/06/03

CIA director meets with Kuwaiti officials



KUWAIT -- CIA director George Tenet was meeting Wednesday with security officials in Kuwait, a U.S. official said, as American forces gathered here for a threatened war against the emirate's northern neighbor, Iraq.

More than 230,000 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of British troops have been deployed in the Gulf region in anticipation of a possible invasion to disarm Iraq by force.

The vast majority of the troops are in Kuwait, the tiny oil-rich nation that Iraq invaded in 1990. A U.S.-led coalition drove the Iraqis out in the 1991 Gulf War.

The troops have been drilling at their desert bases for weeks.

Tenet was meeting Wednesday with "appropriate Kuwaiti officials discussing issues of mutual concern," said U.S. Embassy spokesman John Moran.

The United States has been working to round up votes in the U.N. Security Council for a resolution saying Iraq has not cooperated with U.N. disarmament demands, and explicitly sanctioning the use of force.

The main thrust of an invasion into Iraq would likely come from Kuwait, a staunch U.S. ally.