Senegal's Youssou N'Dour has canceled a planned seven-week North American tour due to the possible war in Iraq. "It is my strong conviction that the responsibility for disarming Iraq should rest with

Senegal's Youssou N'Dour has canceled a planned seven-week North American tour due to the possible war in Iraq. "It is my strong conviction that the responsibility for disarming Iraq should rest with the United Nations," the singer said in a statement.

"As a matter of conscience I question the U.S. government's apparent intention to commence war in Iraq. I believe that coming to America at this time would be perceived in many parts of the world -- rightly or wrongly -- as support for this policy, and that, as a consequence, it is inappropriate to perform in the U.S. at this juncture."

The 38-city tour, which was to have begun March 26, would have been the most extensive North American outing ever for N'Dour, who is signed to Nonesuch Records in the U.S. His latest album, "Nothing's in Vain (Coono Du Reer)," was released in October by the label.

"I understand that there are many in the U.S. who do not support the idea of their government initiating war in Iraq at this time, and I offer my greatest respect to them," N'Dour added. "It is my fervent wish to return to the U.S. in better times. But I find it impossible to imagine playing concerts in America when such grave issues are confronting all the peoples of the world."