MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY, DEC. 4 -- President Bush said today he would not be "in a negotiating mood" when he meets with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Washington and ruled out any effort by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to link a solution to the Persian Gulf conflict to the Palestinian issue.

At a press conference shortly after his arrival here this afternoon, Bush also expressed growing impatience with U.N. economic sanctions against Iraq, saying that only the threat of military attack is likely to persuade Saddam to withdraw his troops from Kuwait.

{In Washington, House Democrats approved 177 to 37 a call for Congress to be consulted before any U.S. offensive, and a federal judge heard arguments in a suit seeking to bar an attack without a congressional declaration of war. Story on Page A32.}

Bush rejected calls by two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) to give the economic sanctions considerably more time to work before resorting to war. He said Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney and Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, did a "superb job" in describing to Nunn's committee Monday the dangers of waiting indefinitely.

The president said he had sent a message congratulating Cheney and Powell for their testimony, in which they argued that the sanctions alone will not persuade Saddam to abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for Iraq's withdrawal and the restoration of the Kuwaiti government.

"I've not been one who has been convinced that sanctions alone would bring him to his senses," Bush said.

Acknowledging that the sanctions are "having some effect" on Iraq's economy, Bush said Saddam still "has not gotten the message" that the world community is united against him.

The first direct talks between the United States and Iraq will occur next week at the earliest. Officials traveling with Bush said the Iraqis still had not formally replied to Bush's offer last week to meet Aziz in Washington and later send Baker to meet with Saddam in Baghdad.

Bush said today that while the United States is interested in seeing a "peaceful and permanent solution" to the Palestinian issue, there "will be no linkage whatsoever" between it and the gulf crisis. "The whole world knows that Saddam Hussein has been trying for linkage. In the talks we have, there will be no linkage."

Bush called last week's vote in the United Nations authorizing the use of force to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait a "loud and clear" signal, adding, "The best hope for peace is for him to understand that all means -- all means -- necessary to fulfill these resolutions will be used against him."

Bush also backed up statements made Sunday by Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who said that if Saddam "complies with the resolutions, his reward for that would not be a military attack" by the United States.

Baker's statements on NBC's "Meet the Press" appeared to open the door to possible negotiations once Iraq is out of Kuwait, despite repeated warnings from Bush about Saddam's growing nuclear threat.

Bush's impatience with Iraq's refusal to pull out of Kuwait was expressed most clearly in response to a question about what he could do to help bring down world oil prices, which have soared during the crisis, placing severe burdens on the economies of Brazil, Uruguay and other South American nations he is visiting this week.

"I can make clear that this is not going to go on forever," he replied on the second stop of his five-nation Latin American tour. "I think some worry very much about that. And it is not going to go on forever."

He praised President Luis Alberto Lacalle for "strongly supporting" the sanctions against Kuwait, despite the economic impact here. "Your country never flinched," Bush said in a speech to Uruguay's Congress.

Vice President Gonzalo Aguirre, introducing Bush to the Congress, warned of the dangers of war in the gulf, calling it "tantamount to destruction, desolation and death not only for the aggressor but perhaps also for neighboring states." But he added that "if the decision is for war, perhaps we will not justify it but we will certainly understand it."