News



DATE=5/14/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232208
TITLE=FRANCE / IRAQ (L ONLY)
BYLINE=JULIAN NUNDY
DATELINE=PARIS
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC HAS TOLD IRAQ'S DEPUTY 
PRIME MINISTER TARIQ AZIZ THAT IRAQ MUST COMPLY WITH ALL UNITED 
NATIONS RESOLUTIONS IF IT WANTS INTERNATIONAL TRADE SANCTIONS 
ENDED.  BUT JULIAN NUNDY IN PARIS REPORTS THE TOP-LEVEL RECEPTION
GIVEN TO MR. AZIZ SEEMS TO INDICATE FRANCE'S DESIRE TO SEE IRAQ 
READMITTED TO THE WORLD COMMUNITY. 

TEXT:  THE IRAQI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, WHO REGULARLY REPRESENTS 
HIS COUNTRY ABROAD, HAS SPENT MUCH OF THE PAST WEEK IN PARIS.  
DURING HIS STAY HE HAS HELD TALKS WITH THE UNITED NATIONS 
SECRETARY GENERAL, KOFI ANNAN, AND WITH SENIOR FRENCH GOVERNMENT 
OFFICIALS.

DIPLOMATS SAY FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC'S DECISION TO GIVE 
MR. AZIZ A PERSONAL MEETING IS A CLEAR INDICATION THAT FRANCE 
WANTS TO SEE PROGRESS IN THE CAMPAIGN TO END SANCTIONS AGAINST 
IRAQ.

AFTER THE MEETING, MR. CHIRAC'S AIDES SAID THE FRENCH PRESIDENT 
REPEATED PARIS' POSITION THAT IRAQ MUST SHOW GOOD WILL TOWARD THE
UNITED NATIONS.  FRANCE PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN FEBRUARY TO REDUCE 
THE TENSIONS OVER IRAQ'S REFUSAL TO ALLOW U-N ARMS INSPECTORS TO 
DO THEIR WORK THAT THREATENED TO PROVOKE A NEW WAR IN THE REGION.

MR. AZIZ HANDED OVER A LETTER FROM IRAQ'S PRESIDENT SADDAM 
HUSSEIN DURING HIS MEETING WITH MR. CHIRAC.  AN OFFICIAL 
STATEMENT FROM THE FRENCH PRESIDENCY AFTER THE MEETING SAID 
IRAQ'S RETURN TO THE WORLD COMMUNITY IS BOTH "POSSIBLE AND 
DESIRABLE, AND THE ROAD TO GET THERE EXISTS." 

TO DO THIS, MR. CHIRAC SAID IRAQ MUST APPLY ALL UNITED NATIONS 
RESOLUTIONS -- ESPECIALLY THOSE RELATING TO THE ELIMINATION OF 
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. 

IN THIS RESPECT, MR. CHIRAC PRAISED WHAT HE CALLED "THE NEW 
SPIRIT OF COOPERATION" BETWEEN IRAQ AND U-N INSPECTORS.  MR. AZIZ
REPLIED THAT IRAQ HAS FULFILLED, WHAT HE CALLED, "ITS LEGAL 
OBLIGATIONS" TOWARD THE U-N, AND HOPED FOR FRENCH SUPPORT TO END 
TRADE BARRIERS.  HE ACCUSED THE UNITED STATES OF BEING BOTH WHAT 
HE CALLED "ADVERSARY AND JUDGE" IN THE SITUATION. 

AMONG THOSE WHO MET WITH MR. AZIZ DURING HIS PARIS VISIT WERE 
FRENCH BUSINESS LEADERS.  THIS CLEARLY ANTICIPATES A RESUMPTION 
OF NORMAL TRADE WITH IRAQ IN WHICH FRENCH COMPANIES HOPE TO PLAY 
A LEADING PART. 

                       ///  REST OPT  ///

FOR THE RESPECTED FRENCH DAILY NEWSPAPER LE MONDE, THE FRENCH 
AUTHORITIES ARE DEMONSTRATING THEIR DESIRE FOR A NORMALIZATION OF
TIES WITH IRAQ, WHILE THEY REMAIN OFFICIALLY FIRM IN THEIR 
SUPPORT OF THE U-N POSITION.  LE MONDE ADDED THAT NEVER, SINCE 
THE INVASION OF KUWAIT IN 1990, HAS MR. AZIZ OR ANY OTHER IRAQI 
LEADER BEEN GIVEN SUCH A HIGH-LEVEL RECEPTION ANYWHERE IN THE 
WEST.  (SIGNED)

NEB/JN/MMK

14-May-98 10:28 AM EDT (1428 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.