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"A WORLD OF NEWS FROM THE WORLD ORGANIZATION"

Daily Highlights

Tuesday, 28 April, 1998

This daily news round-up is prepared by the Central News Section of
the Office of Communications and of Public Information at the United
Nations.


-- Security Council President says there is no consensus in Council
for modifying sanctions against Iraq.


-- Iraq says United States and United Kingdom block lifting of
Security Council sanctions.


-- Head of UNSCOM says Iraq needs to provide full accounting of
weapons of mass destruction.


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SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT SAYS THERE IS NO CONSENSUS IN COUNCIL FOR
MODIFYING SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ.


There was no consensus in the Security Council to modify the sanctions
regime against Iraq, according to Council President Hisashi Owada of
Japan.


Speaking to correspondents on Monday night following Council
consultations, Ambassador Owada, said that Members had extensive
discussion on wide-ranging issues concerning Iraq. They had been
briefed by Richard Butler, the Executive Chairman of the UN Special
Commission (UNSCOM); Jayantha Dhanapala, who is Chairman of the
Special Group to Investigate the Presidential Sites; and by Garry
Dillon of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


Council members would continue to consult on the possibility of
further Council action in relation to the IAEA report, Ambassador
Owada said. The Members wanted to know more about the technical
details of the UNSCOM report. Ambassador Butler agreed to give, in a
separate meeting, additional technical information including on
implementation 687.


Finally, Ambassador Owada said, Council members expressed grave
concern on the question of the repatriation of all Kuwaiti nationals
and the return of all Kuwaiti property, seized by Iraq, including
national archives.


In reply to a reporter's question, the Council President said there
was a "general sense of urgency" regarding action on the IAEA report,
but there had been no discussion on how soon the Council would act on
the matter. It was much too early to say what concrete action would be
taken, he added.


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IRAQ SAYS UNITED STATES AND UNITED KINGDOM BLOCK LIFTING OF SECURITY
COUNCIL SANCTIONS.


Meanwhile, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, said on Tuesday that the
Security Council had not lifted the sanctions against his country
because of pressure by the United States and the United Kingdom.


Speaking at a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr.
Mohammed Al-Sahaf, described as "very disappointing" the Council
decision on Monday night not to lift the sanctions imposed against his
country in 1991, following the Persian Gulf War. He said the United
States had threatened to use its veto power in the Council to block
the lifting of sanctions.


The Iraqi Foreign Minister said since the sanctions were imposed Iraq
had fulfilled the requirements for lifting them by destroying all
weapons and related equipment. The Iraqi people and leadership had
made major sacrifices and expected the sanctions to be lifted long
ago.


Regardless of the injustice to which it had been subjected, he said,
Iraq had cooperated with the Security Council and with the Special
Commission. During the crises in November 1997 and February this year,
Iraq had responded positively to initiatives by the Russian Federation
and by the Secretary-General. It understood that implementation of
those initiatives including the Memorandum of Understanding would lead
to the lifting of sanctions.


Given the positive report by the Special Group which had inspected
Iraq's presidential sites, he said, Iraq had hoped that the Council's
discussions would focus on the main issues and lead to the lifting of
sanctions. Fair minded people in the Security Council and the
international community wanted Iraq's relations with the Council and
the Special Commission to be based on equity and a proper legal
interpretation of Council resolution 687 which was adopted in 1991, he
added.


-- -- --



HEAD OF UNSCOM SAYS IRAQ NEEDS TO PROVIDE FULL ACCOUNTING OF WEAPONS
OF MASS DESTRUCTION.


Iraq must provide a full accounting of its weapons of mass
destruction, the head of the United Nations Special Commission
(UNSCOM) which oversees their elimination said on Tuesday.


Speaking at a UN press conference, UNSCOM Executive Chairman Richard
Butler, said there was a real possibility, that if Iraq produced the
materials, documents and evidence needed to verify its claim that it
no longer had weapons of mass destruction, "we might be able to get
the disarmament part of our work done in a relatively short space of
time".


Mr. Butler briefed the Security Council on Monday on the latest report
on UNSCOM's work. Since the report covered the six month period from
October 1997 to April 1998, he said, it included the "intense crisis"
before the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Iraq in February.
Since Secretary-General Kofi Annan's visit to Baghdad, there was "an
entirely new spirit of cooperation," Mr. Butler added.


The Executive Chairman said he had informed the Council that, in
recent weeks, there had been some progress in the field of work UNSCOM
was carrying out with Iraq. The Commission was attempting to get an
account of special missile warheads that Iraq had in the past, had
filled with chemical or biological warfare agents and had unilaterally
destroyed. "We are seeking an account of these so we can help move
closer to the end of the missile file," Ambassador Butler said.


The Chairman told correspondents the same was also true in the field
of chemical emissions, he said. UNSCOM had discovered an amount of
chemical emissions with "perfectly good chemical agents in them" and
would be bringing those to account.


Iraq's promise to give UNSCOM full cooperation was now needed to bring
the disarmament to full account, Ambassador Butler said. UNSCOM had
also promised that if Iraq gave full cooperation and gave the
remaining materials, documents and evidence "we need to verify their
claim that they had no more weapons of mass destruction", then UNSCOM
would do the verification honestly, at a very high level of competence
and as quickly as possible.


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