News

 

DATE=3/4/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227610
TITLE=U-N / IRAQ COMMUNICATIONS (L - ONLY) 
BYLINE=MAX RUSTON
DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN IS PREPARING (WEDNESDAY)
TO APPOINT A SPECIAL ENVOY TO IRAQ -- IN AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE 
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THAT COUNTRY AND AVOID RENEWED MILITARY 
TENSION.  V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON REPORTS FROM OUR UNITED NATIONS 
BUREAU.

TEXT:  MR. ANNAN IS EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE THE CREATION OF THE NEW 
POST BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK.  U-N OFFICIALS SAY INDIA'S 
FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, PRAKASH SHAH, WILL 
LIKELY BE THE FIRST PERSON TO FILL THE POST.

CREATION OF THE POST MARKS A FIRST STEP IN EFFORTS BY THE 
SECRETARY-GENERAL TO REDUCE IRAQ'S DIPLOMATIC ISOLATION FROM THE 
REST OF THE WORLD.  AIDES TO MR. ANNAN SAY HE BELIEVES IRAQ'S 
ISOLATION AND ITS LACK OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES HAS
LED TO MISUNDERSTANDINGS AND ADDED TO TENSION.

U-N SPOKESMAN FRED ECKHARD SAYS ONE OF THE MAIN TASKS OF THE NEW 
SPECIAL ENVOY TO IRAQ WILL BE TO IMPROVE CHANNELS OF 
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MR. ANNAN AND THE IRAQI LEADERSHIP.

                       /// ECKHARD ACT ///

         THE PURPOSE IS REALLY TO HAVE A POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVE
         FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL IN BAGHDAD, WHO CAN KEEP THE 
         SECRETARY-GENERAL INFORMED ON THE GOVERNMENT'S REACTION 
         TO VARIOUS U-N PROGRAMS GOING ON THERE, FROM UNSCOM TO 
         THE HUMANITARIAN OFFICE THERE, AND WHO CAN ACT AS A 
         VEHICLE FOR COMMUNICATIONS FOR HIM TO THE GOVERNMENT.

                         /// END ACT ///

IN ANOTHER APPARENT MOVE TO IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS WITH BAGHDAD, 
MR. ANNAN HAS INVITED IRAQ'S FOREIGN MINISTER, MOHAMMED SAID 
AL-SAHAF, TO NEW YORK FOR TALKS ON THE UNITED NATION'S OIL FOR 
FOOD PROGRAM.  U-N OFFICIALS SAY MR. AL-SAHAF, ACCOMPANIED BY 
IRAQ'S MINISTERS OF TRADE AND HEALTH, WILL ARRIVE IN NEW YORK 
SUNDAY AND HOLD TALKS THROUGH THE END OF NEXT WEEK.

THE OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM PROVIDES EXCEPTIONS TO INTERNATIONAL 
SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ, ALLOWING THE SALE OF LIMITED QUANTITIES 
OF OIL IN EXCHANGE FOR FOOD AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES.  LAST MONTH, 
THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL AGREED TO EXPAND THE PROGRAM, PERMITTING
IRAQ TO SELL OIL VALUED AT MORE THAN FIVE BILLION DOLLARS EVERY 
SIX MONTHS.  (SIGNED)

NEB/NY/MPR/LSF 







04-Mar-98 2:32 PM EST (1932 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.