News


DATE=4/4/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-229222
TITLE=IRAQ/U-N (S & L)
BYLINE=DOUGLAS ROBERTS
DATELINE=CAIRO 
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  U-N ARMS EXPERTS AND A TEAM OF DIPLOMATS LEFT BAGHDAD 
SATURDAY AFTER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING THEIR FIRST-EVER 
INSPECTIONS OF EIGHT PRESIDENTIAL COMPOUNDS -- LONG DECLARED 
OFF-LIMITS BY THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT.  MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT 
DOUGLAS ROBERTS REPORTS THE JUST-CONCLUDED MISSION WAS AN 
IMPORTANT TEST OF FEBRUARY'S AGREEMENT BETWEEN BAGHDAD AND THE 
U-N.  THAT ACCORD HELPED AVERT A U-S LED MILITARY STRIKE AGAINST 
IRAQ FOR REFUSING WEAPONS INSPECTORS FULL ACCESS.
 
TEXT:  U-N OFFICIALS ACKNOWLEDGED AGAIN SATURDAY THAT  NO  
EVIDENCE RELATED TO IRAQ'S WEAPONS PROGRAMS WAS FOUND AT ANY OF 
THE EIGHT PALACES.  BUT CHARLES DUELFER, THE AMERICAN WHO LED THE
INSPECTION TEAM, SAID THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MISSION LAY IN 
ESTABLISHING THE PRECEDENT OF U-N ACCESS TO ALL AREAS OF IRAQ.
 
ON FRIDAY, IRAQ'S DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TARIQ AZIZ HAILED THE 
OUTCOME OF THE INSPECTION, CALLING IT A VICTORY FOR TRUTH OVER 
FALSEHOOD.  MR. AZIZ SAID THE U-N NOW HAS PROOF THAT  NO BANNED 
WEAPONS WERE EITHER PRODUCED OR STORED AT THE PALACES.
 
BAGHDAD HAS LONG INSISTED THAT ALL OF ITS WEAPONS OF MASS 
DESTRUCTION HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED.  BUT MR. DUELFER SAYS IRAQ HAS 
YET TO FULLY ACCOUNT FOR ITS BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS, AND
ITS RANGE MISSILES.

                ///REMAINDER OPT FOR LONG C-R///

MR. DUELFER IS NOW DRAFTING A REPORT ON THE INSPECTIONS, TO BE 
SUBMITTED TO THE CHIEF OF THE U-N ARMS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN 
DIPLOMAT RICHARD BUTLER.
 
MEANWHILE, JAYANTHA DHANAPALA, THE U-N ENVOY WHO LED THE TEAM OF 
DIPLOMATIC OBSERVERS, WILL SUBMIT A SEPARATE REPORT TO 
SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN.
 
DURING THE MISSION, MR. DHANAPALA REPEATEDLY PRAISED IRAQI 
AUTHORITIES FOR THEIR COOPERATION WITH THE U-N TEAM.  HE SAYS THE
INSPECTION MARKED THE START OF WHAT HE TERMED A FRESH CHAPTER IN 
BAGHDAD'S RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED NATIONS.
 
THERE IS TO BE  NO  BREAK IN THE INSPECTION PROCESS, WITH U-N 
OFFICIALS SET TO CONTINUE PERIODIC VISITS TO NON-PRESIDENTIAL 
SITES.
 
THERE HAS BEEN  NO  WORD ON WHEN THE INSPECTORS WILL RETURN TO 
THE PALACES.  BUT U-N OFFICIALS HAVE INDICATED THAT FURTHER 
INSPECTIONS WILL BE NECESSARY.
 
THE INITIAL VISITS TO THE PRESIDENTIAL COMPOUNDS WERE TERMED 
BASE-LINE SURVEYS, WITH THE INSPECTORS SPENDING ONLY A FEW 
MINUTES AT EACH OF THE MORE THAN ONE-THOUSAND BUILDINGS CONTAINED
IN THE EIGHT SITES. (SIGNED) 

NEB/DBR/DW/JO

04-Apr-98 10:06 AM EST (1506 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.