News

DATE=1/5/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-243802 TITLE=U-N / IRAQ / RELIEF WORKERS (L) BYLINE=MAX RUSTON DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS IS (TUESDAY) REJECTING BAGHDAD'S REQUEST THAT IT WITHDRAW U-S AND BRITISH RELIEF WORKERS FROM IRAQ. IRAQ SAYS IT CANNOT GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF THE WORKERS FOLLOWING U-S AND BRITISH AIR-STRIKES LAST MONTH. V-O-A'S UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON HAS THE STORY. TEXT: DIPLOMATS SAY THE UNITED NATIONS IS TELLING IRAQ THAT IT IS THE JOB OF U-N OFFICIALS TO DETERMINE WHO WORKS FOR U-N PROGRAMS AND IT IS IRAQ'S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF ALL U-N STAFF IN THE COUNTRY. DIPLOMATS SAY THE U-N SECRETARIAT PROVIDED DETAILS OF THE RESPONSE IN A BRIEFING TUESDAY TO THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL. BRITISH OFFICIALS SAY THEY ARE VERY SATISFIED WITH THE U-N RESPONSE. U-S ENVOY NANCY SODERBERG SAYS WASHINGTON IS ALSO PLEASED WITH THE U-N POSITION ON THE ISSUE. /// SODERBERG ACT /// WE ARE PLEASED THAT THE SECRETARIAT HAS DECIDED NOT TO ACCEDE TO THE LATEST IRAQI EFFORT TO UNDERMINE THE EFFORTS OF THE HUMANITARIAN WORKERS THERE IN THEIR EFFORT TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST SOME NATIONALITIES. I THINK THAT EFFORT IS CLEARLY UNDERMINED. THERE ARE CLEAR OBLIGATIONS TO PROTECT AND PROVIDE ACCESS TO HUMANITARIAN WORKERS IN THE UNITED NATIONS, SO WE WELCOME THAT EFFORT THIS MORNING BY THE UNITED NATIONS. /// END ACT /// MS. SODERBERG SAYS THE UNITED STATES HAS NO INTENTION OF REMOVING U-S RELIEF WORKERS FROM IRAQ. THE U-N LETTER IS A RESPONSE TO A MESSAGE FROM IRAQ REQUESTING THE REPLACEMENT OF ALL BRITISH AND U-S RELIEF WORKERS IN THE COUNTRY. IRAQ SAYS IT CANNOT GUARANTEE THE SAFETY OF THOSE WORKERS FOLLOWING U-S AND BRITISH AIR STRIKES LAST MONTH. IT SAYS THE STRIKES AROUSED DEEP POPULAR ANGER IN IRAQ AGAINST BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES. U-N OFFICIALS SAY THERE ARE JUST OVER ONE DOZEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN RELIEF WORKERS IN IRAQ. MOST OF THEM ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE UNITED NATIONS' OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM, WHICH ALLOWS IRAQ TO EXPORT LIMITED QUANTITIES OF OIL IN RETURN FOR MEDICAL AND RELIEF SUPPLIES. THE PROGRAM OPERATES AS AN EXCEPTION TO SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON IRAQ AFTER THE GULF WAR. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF/PT 05-Jan-99 3:21 PM EST (2021 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .