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Annan concerns about 'morning after' Iraq strikes

Annan echoes concerns about 'morning after' possible conflict with Iraq

9 September – Various national leaders are concerned about the possible consequences of a conflict with Iraq, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan told reporters today as he entered UN Headquarters.

Asked about the costs of an eventual conflict with Iraq, the Secretary-General declined to speculate, pointing out that they would be difficult to predict. "I know many people are worried about unexpected consequences, and the question is - the morning after," he said. "I would not want to throw out any guesses, but I am concerned as well."

Pressed about those concerns, he replied, "What sort of Iraq do we wake up to after the bombing, and what happens in the region? What impact could it have? These are questions leaders I have spoken to have posed."

When asked what initiatives the United States and the United Kingdom might bring to the UN before taking any military action against Baghdad, the Secretary-General said he had spoken to the leaders of both countries, but suggested it would be best to wait and see what the US President would say during his speech to the General Assembly on Thursday.

Mr. Annan also emphasized the appropriateness of the UN Security Council pronouncing itself on the issue of Iraq. "I think it is important to stress that the Council, which has been seized with this Iraqi issue for so long, should have something to say," he said.

ENDS

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