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Annan hopes UNSC guidance on Iraq will come soon

Annan hopes Security Council guidance on Iraq will come soon

4 October – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced hope that the Security Council would soon formulate guidance on Iraq.

Asked by reporters whether UN weapons inspectors should go forward with plans to go to Iraq, or whether they should wait for the Security Council to work on a new resolution, the Secretary-General noted the head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), Hans Blix, himself had indicated that the inspectors were ready, but, as the Council was discussing further guidance, it would be appropriate for him to know what that direction was before he resumes work in Iraq.

"I hope that will be forthcoming shortly," Mr. Annan said.

Meanwhile, a UN spokesman reported that Mr. Blix and the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed ElBaradei, are in Washington, D.C., today for scheduled meetings with senior officials from the United States.

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New York, 4 October 2002 - Secretary-General's press encounter following statement to the Security Council (unofficial transcript)

Q: Do you think that Dr. Blix should now be put in a holding pattern and wait for a new resolution, or should he go forward with his plans to go to Iraq?

SG: I think Mr. Blix himself spoke to the press yesterday and I think he has the right attitude that, yes, he has had his discussions, he has got his men ready, but as the [Security] Council is discussing further guidance, it would be appropriate for him to know that further guidance before he resumes, and I hope that will be forthcoming shortly.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, what about the Cyprus issue? You had a talk yesterday with President Clerides and Rauf Denktash, what is your assumption?

SG: Well, the talks aren't over yet. They are meeting this morning and I will be meeting again with them this afternoon. We are pursuing our efforts and we are going to work very hard in the search for a solution.

Q: Do you think Mr. Denktash's illness will create a problem for the talks, Sir?

SG: Well, I wish Mr. Denktash good health and I think he has good doctors and I am sure he is going to be fine. We should be able to continue our work once he has dealt with his medical problem.

Q: Is it eight weeks that he is going to stay…?


SG: I have no idea how long he is going to be out of commission, but I think it is going to be considerably shorter than the eight weeks that you refer to. I don't know where you got that from.

Q: What about yesterday's statement, Mr. Secretary-General, that if the European Union, if Cyprus [joined] the European Union, then the talks will end and Cyprus will be divided once and forever?

SG: We will jump that hurdle when we get there.

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