LONDON -- Secretary of State James A. Baker III and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher rejected yesterday any "partial solution" to the Persian Gulf crisis and declared their readiness to eject Iraq from Kuwait by force if necessary.
At what was expected to be his most agreeable stopover in a lightning tour of the Middle East and Europe, Mr. Baker found total backing for the U.S. gulf posture here in London.
Outside Mrs. Thatcher's Downing Street office, Mr. Baker announced "full agreement" and rejection of any "partial solution."
Mrs. Thatcher said, "Obviously, we stand absolutely together in supporting this great international coalition that has been built up to see aggression does not, cannot and will not pay."
The British leader said she hoped the Iraqis would permit a peaceful solution to the crisis by withdrawing from Kuwait: "If not, we will have to take the military option and see that Iraq does leave Kuwait."
Mrs. Thatcher said she felt that the anti-Iraq alliance already had authority to launch a military strike without further mandate from the United Nations. Mr. Baker has been told by other members of the alliance that they would consider using military force only under new U.N. orders.
The Bush administration's position is that technically such authority is not needed, but politically it may be advisable. Mr. Baker remained diplomatically silent on the issue in London.
Article 51 of the U.N. Charter gives members of the United Nations the right to ask for help in resisting aggression, as Kuwait has done.
Article 42 of the charter clears the way for land, sea and air action to impose an embargo of the sort imposed on Iraq.
Mr. Baker met Mrs. Thatcher and Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd after talks Thursday in Moscow and before meeting today in Paris with French President Francois Mitterrand and Foreign Minister Roland Dumas.