News



DATE=2/19/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227009
TITLE=IRAQ FRANCE (L)
BYLINE=JULIAN NUNDY
DATELINE=PARIS
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL, KOFI ANNAN, 
STOPPING OVER IN PARIS ON HIS WAY TO BAGHDAD STRUCK AN OPTIMISTIC
NOTE THURSDAY ABOUT THE CHANCES OF FINDING A PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO
THE CRISIS WITH IRAQ. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS. 

TEXT: AFTER A MEETING WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC, THE 
UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN SAID HE HAD WHAT HE 
CALLED "ALL THE ELEMENTS TO SUCCEED" IN HIS PEACE MISSION.

MR. ANNAN STOPPED OVER IN PARIS ON HIS WAY TO BAGHDAD ON A 
MISSION APPROVED BY THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL THAT IS SEEN AS THE 
LAST CHANCE TO STOP AMERICAN-LED AIR STRIKES. THE STRIKES WOULD 
BE AIMED AT PLACES WHERE IRAQ IS SUSPECTED OF MAKING  AND STORING
CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.

WHEN HE HEADS FOR BAGHDAD, MR. ANNAN WILL BE SEEKING ACCESS TO 
EIGHT SO-CALLED "PRESIDENTIAL PALACES" THAT HAVE SO FAR BEEN 
CLOSED TO U-N ARMS INSPECTION TEAMS. 

MR. ANNAN SAID HE HAS ALL HE NEEDS TO NEGOTIATE, ADDING THAT THE 
SECURITY COUNCIL HAS GIVEN HIM ROOM TO MANEUVER IN HIS TALKS WITH
THE IRAQIS.

FRANCE HAS BEEN THE LEADING WESTERN NATION CALLING FOR A 
DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION TO THE CRISIS. ALTHOUGH PARIS BACKS THE U-N 
DEMANDS, IT HAS MADE IT CLEAR IT WILL NOT TAKE PART IN ANY NEW 
MILITARY ACTION.

PRESIDENT CHIRAC TOLD MR. ANNAN IN A BRIEF PUBLIC SPEECH THAT HE 
HAD FRANCE'S SUPPORT IN HIS MISSION.  BEFORE THE MEETING, MR. 
CHIRAC HAD A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON ABOUT 
THE CRISIS. 

EARLIER, THE FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY SAID RECENT SIGNS FROM IRAQ 
GAVE PARIS REASON FOR HOPE. THE MINISTRY SAID U-N INSPECTORS HAD 
BEEN ABLE TO WORK THIS PAST WEEK AND THE IRAQI AUTHORITIES HAD 
BEEN COOPERATIVE. 

ON HIS ARRIVAL IN PARIS AND BEFORE HIS MEETING WITH MR. CHIRAC, 
MR. ANNAN SAID HIS MISSION WAS TO HEAD OFF WHAT HE SAID WOULD BE 
"A BLOOD BATH FOR A POPULATION THAT HAS ALREADY SUFFERED." HE 
SAID HE HAD ASSURANCES FROM BAGHDAD THAT IRAQ WOULD WORK WITH HIM
TO FIND A SOLUTION.

A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE FRENCH PRESIDENT SAID IT IS NOW UP TO IRAQ 
TO MAKE THE NECESSARY GESTURES AND TO ACCEPT THE PROPOSALS THAT 
MR. ANNAN WILL MAKE DURING HIS MISSION. (SIGNED)

NEB/JN/TMD/PLM





19-Feb-98 3:18 PM EST (2018 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.