News



DATE=3/30/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-228931
TITLE=IRAQ/U-N (L ONLY)
BYLINE=DOUGLAS ROBERTS
DATELINE=CAIRO
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO: U-N ARMS EXPERTS ARE NOW HALF WAY THROUGH THEIR FIRST EVER
INSPECTIONS OF IRAQ'S PRESIDENTIAL PALACES.  U-N OFFICIALS SAY 
THERE HAVE BEEN  NO  MAJOR PROBLEMS SO FAR, AS WE HEAR FROM 
MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT DOUGLAS ROBERTS IN CAIRO.

TEXT:   THE U-N INSPECTORS SPENT THE WEEKEND (SATURDAY/SUNDAY) 
VISITING PRESIDENTIAL SITES IN TIKRIT, JEBEL MAKHOUL AND MOSUL, 
NORTH OF BAGHDAD, AFTER AN EARLIER VISIT TO THE VAST RADWANIYA 
COMPLEX ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE IRAQI CAPITAL.

NOW, THEY ARE TURNING THEIR ATTENTION TO TWO OTHER PRESIDENTIAL 
PALACES IN BAGHDAD -- ANOTHER NORTHWEST OF THE CAPITAL AND ONE 
MORE IN THE SOUTHERN RIVER PORT OF BASRA.

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA, THE U-N UNDERSECRETARY FOR DISARMAMENT, TOLD 
REPORTERS MONDAY THE INITIAL INSPECTIONS OF THE PALACES SHOULD BE
COMPLETE WITHIN A WEEK.

//OPT// MR. DHANAPALA HEADS A TEAM OF 20 FOREIGN DIPLOMATS, WHO 
ARE  ACCOMPANYING THE INSPECTORS UNDER THE TERMS OF LAST MONTH'S 
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT AND U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL 
KOFI ANNAN. //END OPT//

MR. DHANAPALA SAID IRAQI AUTHORITIES HAVE BEEN CLOSELY 
COOPERATING WITH THE U-N TEAM.  HE NOTED THAT DEPUTY PRIME 
MINISTER TARIQ AZIZ IS ACCOMPANYING THE INSPECTORS TO EACH OF THE
PRESIDENTIAL SITES.

U-N OFFICIALS SAY SOME DIFFERENCES AROSE OVER THE PRECISE 
GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES OF AT LEAST ONE OF THE PALACES.  BUT THEY 
SAY THE PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN RESOLVED QUICKLY IN TALKS WITH MR. 
AZIZ AND OTHER IRAQI OFFICIALS.

THE INSPECTORS ARE USING THESE INITIAL VISITS TO COMPILE BASELINE
REFERENCE POINTS ABOUT EACH OF THE PALACES --  INFORMATION THAT 
WILL BE USED FOR PURPOSES OF COMPARISON DURING FUTURE VISITS.

//OPT// THE EIGHT PALACES COVER AN AREA OF 31 SQUARE KILOMETERS, 
AND INCLUDE MORE THAN ONE-THOUSAND BUILDINGS. //END OPT//

ONCE THE INITIAL PALACE VISITS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED, THE DIPLOMATS
WILL LEAVE BAGHDAD, AND THE INSPECTORS WILL TURN THEIR ATTENTION 
TO OTHER SITES, IN THEIR SEVEN-YEAR-OLD EFFORT TO VERIFY THE 
ELIMINATION OF IRAQ'S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

WHEN -- AND IF THE DIPLOMATS RETURN -- IT WILL SIGNAL THAT THE 
INSPECTORS ARE ONCE AGAIN PREPARING TO VISIT THE PRESIDENTIAL 
COMPOUNDS.

U-N OFFICIALS SAY THE INSPECTORS MAY BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THEIR 
WORK ON IRAQ'S NUCLEAR AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS, AS WELL AS ITS LONG 
RANGE MISSILES, BY THE END OF THIS YEAR.  BUT THEY SAY THE U-N IS
FAR FROM BEING ABLE TO CERTIFY THE ELIMINATION OF IRAQ'S 
BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.

//REST OPT//UNDER THE TERMS OF U-N RESOLUTIONS, THE INSPECTORS 
MUST VERIFY THE ELIMINATION OF ALL BANNED WEAPONS BEFORE THE 
SECURITY COUNCIL CAN ACT TO LIFT THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS IMPOSED 
AFTER IRAQ'S 1990 INVASION OF KUWAIT. (SIGNED) 

NEB/DBR/PCF

30-Mar-98 10:39 AM EST (1539 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.