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Annan discusses Iraq with UNSC permanent members

Annan discusses Iraq with Security Council's permanent members

24 September – The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, discussed Iraq with the permanent members of the Security Council yesterday and today, according to a UN spokesman.

Responding to questions from the press, spokesman Fred Eckhard said Council members were discussing possible action on Iraq. The decisions on that country would have an impact on the Middle East as a whole, he added.

Asked about Mr. Annan's participation, the spokesman stressed that the Secretary-General did not want to interfere in the deliberations, and was not involved in the drafting of any resolution, although he did work closely with the Council and had been urging it to maintain unity.

"He is staying in touch with the parties, but he is not getting involved with the drafting," Mr. Eckhard said, adding, "to my knowledge, there isn't a draft."

To a question on who would attend the talks in Vienna next week between the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the Iraqi Government on practical arrangements for inspections, the spokesman said that the Commission's Executive Chairman, Hans Blix, would head the UN side and would be accompanied by senior directors. Experts from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would also be present. The composition of the Iraqi side has not yet been announced.

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