News

01 April 1998

[EXCERPTS]: UN SPOKESMAN'S DAILY BRIEFING FOR MARCH 31, 1998


United Nations -- Juan-Carlos Brandt, Senior Associate Spokesman for
the Secretary General, briefed.

Following is the UN text of the summary:
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31 March 1998

Press Briefing

DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OF OFFICE OF SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL


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The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) on Iraq was meeting at
Headquarters for the second day, with 20 out of 22 Commissioners
attending, Mr. Brandt said. They were reviewing the recommendations
they had made on the work of the Commission last November. The
Executive Chairman of the Commission, Richard Butler, had briefed the
Commissioners yesterday on the recent agreements that had been reached
with Iraq, in particular the Memorandum of Understanding, and updated
them on the technical discussions with Iraq, including the results of
the recent technical evaluation meetings on chemical and biological
weapons as well as on missile warhead-related issues. They were also
discussing possible elements that might be included in the upcoming
biannual report of the Executive Chairman on the work of the
Commission.


As for the inspections of the presidential sites in Iraq, Mr. Brandt
continued, they seemed to be moving along. Six out of eight sites had
already been inspected. Two more sites, the Republican Palace and the
Sijood presidential site, were expected to be visited in the next few
days. The leader of the inspection team, Charles Duelfer, had
indicated that the inspections would end on Saturday and that his team
would leave the following day. The Special Envoy of the
Secretary-General for Iraq, Prakash Shah, had chaired yesterday a
meeting with the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Denis J.
Halliday, heads of United Nations agencies in Baghdad and the Chairman
of the Security Council Committee monitoring the sanctions against
Iraq, Antonio Monteiro (Portugal), to exchange views on the
implementation of the "oil-for-food" programme. Ambassador Monteiro
was visiting Iraq as a member of the group of senior diplomats for the
inspection of the presidential sites.



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