News



DATE=5/28/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232966
TITLE=U-N / IRAQ (L - ONLY)
BYLINE=MAX RUSTON
DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER MOHAMMED SAID AL-SAHAF IS IN NEW 
YORK (THURSDAY) FOR TALKS ABOUT U-N SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON HIS 
COUNTRY AFTER THE GULF WAR.  V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON HAS THE STORY 
FROM OUR UNITED NATIONS BUREAU.

TEXT:  THE IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER'S VISIT TO NEW YORK IS EXPECTED
TO BE DOMINATED BY TWO TOPICS ... U-N WEAPONS INSPECTIONS AND 
IRAQ'S OIL-FOR-FOOD HUMANITARIAN AID PROGRAM.

ON HIS FIRST FULL DAY IN THE CITY, MR. AL-SAHAF HELD TALKS WITH 
U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN.  THOSE TALKS ARE BELIEVED TO 
HAVE FOCUSED ON IRAQ'S CALLS FOR THE EARLY LIFTING OF SANCTIONS 
IMPOSED AFTER THE GULF WAR.

THOSE SANCTIONS CANNOT BE LIFTED UNTIL THE UNITED NATIONS' 
SPECIAL COMMISSION ON WEAPONS INSPECTIONS -- UNSCOM -- CERTIFIES 
THAT IRAQ NO LONGER HAS ANY WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

MEMBERS OF MR. AL-SAHAF'S DELEGATION HELD TALKS ON THAT ISSUE 
THURSDAY WITH UNSCOM LEADERS.  NO DETAILS OF THOSE TALKS, WHICH 
ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY, WERE RELEASED.  UNSCOM 
SAYS IT HAS EVIDENCE IRAQ HAS NOT DESTROYED ALL ITS WEAPONS OF 
MASS DESTRUCTION.  IRAQI OFFICIALS REJECT THAT CLAIM.

THE IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER WILL ALSO MEET WITH U-N DIPLOMATS TO 
DISCUSS THE SO-CALLED OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM, UNDER WHICH IRAQ IS 
ALLOWED TO SELL LIMITED AMOUNTS OF OIL IN EXCHANGE FOR FOOD AND 
OTHER HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES.

THE NEXT SIX-MONTH PHASE OF THE PROGRAM BEGINS JUNE THIRD.  U-N 
AND IRAQI OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN WORKING THIS WEEK TO SETTLE 
DIFFERENCES OVER EXACTLY WHAT THE MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AND TO
WHAT DEGREE TO INCREASE THE DAILY CALORIE INTAKE FOR IRAQI 
CITIZENS.  THE UNITED NATIONS WANTS A HIGHER CALORIE INTAKE 
FIGURE THAN IS SUPPORTED BY THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT.  IRAQ WANTS TO 
INCREASE SPENDING ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND OIL PRODUCTION 
EQUIPMENT.

IN FEBRUARY, THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL SAID IT WOULD ALLOW IRAQ TO
EXPORT OIL VALUED AT ABOUT FIVE BILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT SIX
MONTHS -- MORE THAN DOUBLE THE AMOUNT ALLOWED DURING THE PREVIOUS
PERIOD.  IRAQI OFFICIALS SAY THEY EXPECT REAL EXPORTS TO TOTAL 
ABOUT THREE BILLION DOLLARS, BECAUSE OF PROBLEMS WITH THEIR OIL 
PRODUCTION FACILITIES.  (SIGNED)

NEB/UN/MPR/SP

28-May-98 5:43 PM EDT (2143 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.