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USIS Washington 
File

19 March 1998

OBSERVERS NAMED FOR IRAQI PRESIDENTIAL SITE TEAMS

(American, British envoys included in list) (540)

By Judy Aita

USIA United Nations Correspondent



United Nations -- The U.N. Special Commission overseeing the
destruction of Iraq's weapons (UNSCOM) March 19 released the names of
19 diplomats who will act as "diplomatic observers" during weapons
inspections of eight presidential sites.


UNSCOM Commissioner Jayantha Dhanapala, the U.N. undersecretary
general for disarmament who is heading the special group, made public
the list of senior diplomats who will be going to Baghdad March 23 to
take part in the upcoming inspections.


UNSCOM has said the inspections will begin before the end of March.



To compile the list, Dhanapala sent letters to about 60 U.N. member
nations inviting them to nominate senior diplomats already based in
Baghdad or in the region who have experience in the area and would be
able to join the UNSCOM weapons experts. He received replies from 28
countries and then selected the initial group, according to a U.N.
spokesman.


Included on the list are Washington-based Ambassador Ryan Crocker of
the United States and British Counselor Simon Collis who is based in
Amman. The list also included envoys from the other three countries
who are permanent members of the Security Council: Chinese Minister
Counselor Cui Tiankai, who is based in New York; retired French
diplomat Marcel Laugel, an Arabist living in Beirut; and Russian
Minister Alexandre Kalugin, who is in Moscow.


Non-permanent members of the Security Council who also have diplomats
on the list are: Brazil (Minister Counselor Oswaldo Eurico Portella in
Vienna), Gambia (Babou Ousman Jobe in Banjul), Gabon (Counselor Alfred
Moussotsi in New York), Slovenia (Ambassador Andrej Zlebnik in Cairo),
South Korea (Minister Counselor Kim Woon-Nam in Riyadh), Sweden
(Ambassador Johan Nordenfelt in Stockholm) and Portugal (Ambassador
Antonio Monteiro in New York). A Japanese representative will be named
soon.


The other diplomats are: Counselor Josep Papp of Hungary, who is based
in Baghdad; Counselor Gheorghe Tarlescu of Romania, who is based in
Baghdad; Ambassador Pietro Cordone of Italy, who is based in Rome;
Ambassador Saeed Saad of Sudan, who is based in Khartoum; Ambassador
Michael Bell of Canada, who is based in Cairo; and retired diplomat
Horst Holthoff of Germany, who lives in Bonn.


The new teams will operate under the original procedures established
by UNSCOM and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- which
visits the nuclear sites -- when the inspections began seven years
ago. Inspections of the presidential sites will be under the direction
of regular U.N. weapons inspectors and will include two observers.


However, under the new arrangements, when UNSCOM or IAEA decide to
visit a presidential site, at least two senior diplomatic
representatives will be called upon by Dhanapala to accompany the
weapons experts. Dhanapala, himself, will accompany the teams on their
initial, or "baseline," inspections.


The functions of the senior diplomats will be to observe that the
provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Secretary
General Kofi Annan and Iraq and the specific detailed procedures are
being implemented in good faith; and to "report on any matter they
deem appropriate to the functions of the diplomatic observers,"
according to the procedures.


(For more information on this subject, contact our special Iraq
website at:
http://www.usia.gov/iraq)