News


DATE=3/25/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-228707
TITLE=IRAQ / U-N (L ONLY)
BYLINE=DOUGLAS ROBERTS
DATELINE=BEIRUT
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  A LARGE TEAM OF U-N ARMS EXPERTS ARRIVED IN BAGHDAD  
WEDNESDAY, IN ADVANCE OF THE FIRST EVER U-N INSPECTION OF EIGHT 
IRAQI PRESIDENTIAL COMPOUNDS.  V-O-A MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT 
DOUGLAS ROBERTS IN BEIRUT REPORTS THE INSPECTORS WILL BE 
ACCOMPANIED BY A GROUP OF DIPLOMATS, UNDER TERMS OF AN AGREEMENT 
BETWEEN BAGHDAD AND THE U-N THAT AVERTED A U-S LED MILITARY 
STRIKE AGAINST IRAQ.

TEXT:   NO  DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR THE INAUGURAL VISITS TO THE 
PRESIDENTIAL COMPOUNDS.  BUT THE CHIEF OF THE U-N ARMS COMMISSION
IN IRAQ, AUSTRALIAN DIPLOMAT RICHARD BUTLER, HAS SAID THE 
INSPECTIONS ARE LIKELY TO BEGIN BEFORE THE END OF THIS MONTH.

A GROUP OF AROUND 60 INSPECTORS, LED BY MR. BUTLER'S DEPUTY,  
FLEW INTO BAGHDAD WEDNESDAY.  THEY ARE JOINING A TEAM OF 20 
FOREIGN DIPLOMATS, INCLUDING REPRESENTATIVES OF ALL FIVE 
PERMANENT MEMBERS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL, AMONG THEM U-S ENVOY 
RYAN CROCKER, THE FORMER AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO KUWAIT.

THE U-N AGREED TO THE INCLUSION OF THE DIPLOMATS ON VISITS TO  
PRESIDENTIAL SITES TO OVERCOME IRAQI OPPOSITION TO THE 
INSPECTIONS.  BUT U-N OFFICIALS HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THE ARMS 
COMMISSION WILL DETERMINE THE PRECISE DATE OF THE INSPECTIONS AND
WILL CONTROL THE OPERATION.

COMMISSION CHAIRMAN BUTLER SPENT WEDNESDAY PREPARING FOR THE  
INSPECTIONS.  HE CONFERRED EARLIER IN THE WEEK WITH IRAQ'S DEPUTY
PRIME MINISTER TARIQ AZIZ, AND PRAISED WHAT HE CALLED THE NEW 
SPIRIT OF COOPERATION FROM BAGHDAD.

MR. BUTLER REPORTED PROGRESS DURING THE TALKS ON EFFORTS TO 
ACCOUNT FOR IRAQI MISSILE WARHEADS AND CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS 
THAT BAGHDAD CLAIMS TO HAVE DESTROYED.

U-N OFFICIALS SAY FURTHER CONTACTS WILL BE NECESSARY BEFORE THEY 
CAN CONFIRM THE IRAQI CLAIMS.  AND THEY SAY CONSIDERABLE WORK 
REMAINS TO BE DONE BEFORE THE UNITED NATIONS CAN CERTIFY THE 
ELIMINATION OF IRAQ'S BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.

UNDER THE TERMS OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS, THE INSPECTORS 
MUST VERIFY THE ELIMINATION OF ALL OF IRAQ'S NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL, 
AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS AS WELL AS THE DESTRUCTION OF ITS 
LONG-RANGE MISSILES.  ONLY THEN CAN THE U-N ACT TO END THE 
CRIPPLING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN IN EFFECT SINCE THE 
1990 IRAQI INVASION OF KUWAIT.  (SIGNED) 

NEB/DBR/JWH

25-Mar-98 10:55 AM EST (1555 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.