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UN Begins Debate On Two Proposals On Iraq

Security Council Begins Debate On Two Proposals On Iraq

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Members of the UN Security Council have today begun a debate behind closed doors on two separate proposals that have been tabled before it on how to disarm Iraq. The United States and the United Kingdom - backed by Spain - have presented one draft resolution with the firm conclusion that Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity to disarm.

France, Germany and Russia on the other hand have tabled a memorandum calling for reinforced inspections, more time and a peaceful solution. Behind the scenes negotiations have been going on for the votes necessary for any of the resolutions to be passed. As a result the votes of the ten elected members of the council who serve on a rotating basis have become vital. One such member is Angola, whose Ambassador, Gaspar Martins, had this to say before he went the Security Council Chamber:

"What we want as a Council is to be able to send a clear collective position to the world, especially to Saddam Hussein that he needs to disarm. The memorandum contains these elements for disarmament; the resolution also contains. It's only a matter of accommodating each others' views which is proper of diplomacy."

UN Weapons Inspectors Destroy Remaining Mustard-Filled Shells

In Iraq itself today weapons experts returned to the Al Muthana site to supervise the drilling of eight remaining artillery shells filled with mustard gas. They also undertook the detoxification of the shells at the site.

Meanwhile, UN biological experts returned to the Al Azziziyah Airfield and Firing Range and observed further digging in search of R400 aerial bombs and bomb fragments. A missile team inspected the David Bros Company which is involved in supplying electronic equipment and mechanical components for missiles and in research and development of remote piloted vehicle.

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