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United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan made yet another appeal
yesterday for united Security Council action in ridding Iraq of
weapons of mass destruction as the 15-member body continued to
wrestle over whether to give UN inspectors more time or to declare
Baghdad in default by next Monday.
“I think what is important is that governments have to find a
way of working together,” Mr. Annan said in reply to
reporters’ questions at UN Headquarters in New York.
“Regardless of how this crisis or the current issue is
resolved, the Council will have to work together, and the Members
States will have to work together to deal with the situation in
Iraq, in the Middle East and in many other issues.”
The Secretary-General said he had spoken to British Prime Minister
Tony Blair on Monday night and “he seemed very genuinely
looking for a compromise and a way forward.” He also said
Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva had sent him a
message proposing a summit meeting of world leaders, not
necessarily Security Council members, who are also searching for
“a compromise to get us out of this crisis.”
The United States, United Kingdom and Spain have introduced a draft
resolution that presents Iraq with a 17 March deadline to cooperate
fully with disarmament demands, which France says it will veto.
France, Germany, the Russian Federation and other Council members
have voiced opposition to action at this time and seek continued
and enhanced weapons inspections.
After meeting with the Russian and British Ambassadors on
Wednesday, Mr. Annan is holding a series of one-on-one meetings
with the remaining Council members today. He is “urging them
to continue their strenuous efforts to find compromise and
exploring with them what might be done to further their objective
to define a united position,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said at
a press briefing.
The Council has scheduled closed-door consultations this afternoon
to continue discussions on Iraq - UN News