News


DATE=3/11/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227979
TITLE=CLINTON / U-N / IRAQ (L)
BYLINE=DEBORAH TATE
DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS HE WOULD CONSULT WITH U-N ALLIES 
BEFORE TAKING ANY MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAQ, BUT HE MAINTAINS 
THE UNITED STATES DOES  NOT  NEED U-N APPROVAL.  HE MADE HIS 
COMMENTS AT THE START OF A MEETING WITH U-N SECRETARY GENERAL 
KOFI ANNAN.  V-O-A WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT DEBORAH TATE 
REPORTS.

TEXT:  MOST OF THE 15 MEMBERS OF THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL BELIEVE
THE AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN THE (U-N) SECRETARY-GENERAL AND 
IRAQ LAST MONTH DOES  NOT  GIVE THE UNITED STATES AUTOMATIC 
AUTHORIZATION TO USE FORCE AGAINST BAGHDAD IF THE IRAQIS DO  NOT 
MAKE GOOD ON THEIR COMMITMENT TO OPEN UP ALL SUSPECTED WEAPONS 
SITES.

OVER THE WEEKEND, THE SECRETARY-GENERAL SAID THE UNITED STATES IS
REQUIRED TO CONSULT WITH ALLIES BEFORE ANY MILITARY ACTION TAKES 
PLACE.

AT A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH MR. ANNAN, MR. CLINTON ARGUED THE 
UNITED STATES RESERVES THE RIGHT TO USE FORCE.  BUT AT THE SAME 
TIME, HE SOUGHT TO PLAY DOWN ANY DIFFERENCES WITH THE U-N CHIEF.

                       /// CLINTON ACT ///

         WE BELIEVE THE RESOLUTION GIVES US THE AUTHORITY TO TAKE
         WHATEVER ACTIONS ARE NECESSARY.  BUT OF COURSE WE WOULD 
         CONSULT.  IT WOULD BE UNTHINKABLE THAT WE WOULD  NOT  DO
         THAT.  WE DO THAT ALL THE TIME ANYWAY.  I HAVE SPENT AN 
         AWFUL LOT OF TIME ON THE TELEPHONE WITH LARGE NUMBERS OF
         WORLD LEADERS IN THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS SINCE THIS 
         DIFFICULTY HAS UNFOLDED, SO I AM  NOT  SURE THERE IS A 
         CONFLICT BETWEEN OUR POSITIONS.

                         // END ACT ///

MR. ANNAN ALSO PLAYED DOWN ANY APPEARANCE OF CONFLICT WITH MR. 
CLINTON.

                        /// ANNAN ACT ///

         CONSULTATION IS ONGOING PROCESS AND PART OF THE WAY WE 
         DO BUSINESS IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, AND I AGREE 
         WITH WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAS SAID.

                         /// END ACT ///

THE AGREEMENT BROKERED BY MR. ANNAN WITH IRAQ HAS COME UNDER SOME
CRITICISM FROM KEY REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS.  SENATE MAJORITY LEADER 
TRENT LOTT HAS CALLED IT A "SELLOUT."

MR. CLINTON TOOK ISSUE WITH SUCH CRITICISM, ARGUING THAT THE 
AGREEMENT PRESERVES THE INTEGRITY OF INSPECTION PROCESS.  BUT HE 
SAID THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST REMAIN VIGILANT TO ENSURE 
IRAQI COMPLIANCE.

                        /// REST OPT ///

BESIDES DISCUSSING HIS AGREEMENT WITH IRAQ, MR. ANNAN ALSO CAME 
TO WASHINGTON TO PRESS THE UNITED STATES TO PAY ONE-POINT-THREE 
BILLION DOLLARS IN BACK DUES TO THE WORLD BODY.  THAT FIGURE IS 
EXPECTED TO GROW TO ONE-POINT-SEVEN BILLION BY THE END OF THIS 
YEAR.

CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS ARE INSISTING THAT THEY WILL
LINK ANTI-ABORTION PROVISIONS TO ANY LEGISLATION COVERING THE U-N
FUNDING.  A SIMILAR MOVE LAST YEAR DEFEATED A MEASURE ON PAYMENT 
OF OF DUES.

MR. ANNAN, AS HE TRAVELLED TO WASHINGTON FROM NEW YORK EARLIER 
WEDNESDAY, CALLED ON MR. CLINTON TO -- IN HIS WORDS -- BE MORE 
AGGRESSIVE WITH CONGRESS IN PERSUADING IT TO PAY THE DUES.

WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN MIKE MCCURRY SAYS THE PRESIDENT IS WORKING 
WITH CONGRESS IN THE ISSUE.  HE NOTED THAT THE UNITED STATES -- 
BY NOT PAYING THE DUES -- HAS LOST OUT ON THE CHANCE TO LOWER ITS
ASSESSMENT RATE.

THE UNITED STATES IS CURRENTLY ASSESSED AT 25 PERCENT OF THE COST
OF MANY U-N-RELATED ACTIVITIES -- A RATE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN 
LOWERED TO 22 PERCENT.

MR. ANNAN LATER WEDNESDAY IS TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE DIRECTLY WITH 
REPUBLICAN SENATOR JESSE HELMS, WHO HAS LED THE EFFORT TO 
WITHHOLD PAYMENT OF BACK DUES. (SIGNED)

NEB/DAT/WDC/JO

11-Mar-98 5:11 PM EST (2211 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.