News


DATE=5/8/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-231922
TITLE=U-N / IRAQ TRAVEL BAN (L)
BYLINE=MAX RUSTON
DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL TODAY (FRIDAY) LIFTED
A TRAVEL BAN ON IRAQI OFFICIALS, IN AN APPARENT EFFORT TO EASE 
TENSION WITH THAT COUNTRY.  V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON REPORTS FROM THE 
UNITED NATIONS.

TEXT:  CHIEF U-N WEAPONS INSPECTOR RICHARD BUTLER RECOMMENDED THE
TRAVEL BAN BE LIFTED IN A LETTER TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL EARLIER 
THIS WEEK.  MR. BUTLER SAID THE MOVE WOULD BE APPROPRIATE BECAUSE
IRAQ HAS NOW GRANTED UNRESTRICTED AND UNCONDITIONAL ACCESS TO ALL
SITES HIS WEAPONS TEAM WISHED TO VISIT.

U-N SPOKESMAN JUAN CARLOS BRANDT:

                       /// BRANDT ACT ///

         THE DECISION BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL IS THAT THE REQUEST
         BY MR. BUTLER TO LIFT THE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS HAS BEEN 
         AGREED BY THE COUNCIL AND THEREFORE THOSE TRAVEL 
         RESTRICTIONS WILL BE LIFTED.

                         /// END ACT ///

THE BAN WAS IMPOSED IN NOVEMBER AFTER IRAQ ANNOUNCED IT WAS 
BARRING AMERICANS FROM PARTICIPATING IN U-N INSPECTIONS OF 
SUSPECTED IRAQI WEAPONS SITES.  THE BAN COVERED IRAQI CIVILIAN 
AND MILITARY OFFICIALS CONSIDERED RESPONSIBLE FOR BLOCKING THE 
ACTIVITIES OF THE WEAPONS INSPECTORS.  BECAUSE A LIST OF THOSE 
OFFICIALS WAS NEVER COMPLETED, THE BAN WAS NOT ENFORCED.

NEVERTHELESS, THE LIFTING OF THE BAN IS SEEN AS A CONCILIATORY 
MOVE TOWARDS IRAQ AIMED AT EASING TENSION THAT HAS BUILT UP OVER 
THE LAST FEW WEEKS.  THAT TENSION WAS FUELED LATE LAST MONTH WHEN
THE SECURITY COUNCIL REJECTED IRAQ'S DEMAND FOR THE LIFTING OF 
SANCTIONS IMPOSED AFTER THE GULF WAR.  IRAQ HAS WARNED OF 
UNSPECIFIED CONSEQUENCES IF SANCTIONS ARE NOT EASED SOON.

SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS SAY SANCTIONS CANNOT BE LIFTED UNTIL
U-N INSPECTORS VERIFY THAT IRAQ NO LONGER HAS ANY WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION.  IRAQ CLAIMS IT HAS COMPLETED ITS ROLE IN THE 
VERIFICATION PROCESS.  BUT INSPECTORS SAY THEY LACK INFORMATION 
IN MANY CRUCIAL AREAS, PARTICULARLY BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.  (SIGNED)

NEB/UN/MPR/LSF

08-May-98 3:46 PM EDT (1946 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.