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SG Laments Slow Progress on Missing Kuwaitis

Secretary-General Laments Slow Progress on Issue of Kuwaitis Missing Since 1990 Iraq War

New York, Dec 11 2006 6:00PM

While acknowledging the security obstacles in war-ravaged Iraq that are stalling progress on recovering the remains of Kuwaiti and other nationals missing since the country’s 1990 war, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has voiced hope that the issue can soon be brought to a satisfactory close.

In a report to the Security Council on the activities of Yuli Vorontsov, his envoy dealing with the issue, Mr. Annan welcomes the fact that the remains of three more Kuwaitis have been recovered.

But the fate of 370 others is still unknown, and “this reflects disappointingly slow progress,” he says.

The report notes that “serious security challenges in Iraq have impeded searches for graves and exhumation of known sites where Kuwaiti and other nationals are thought to be buried.”

Mr. Annan welcomes efforts by the Tripartite Commission dealing with the issue to ascertain the fate of the missing and voices hope that arrangements “will help to bring the issue of Kuwaiti prisoners of war and third-country nationals to a satisfactory close.”

On a related matter, he says it is “sad that there has been no movement forward with regard to finding and returning the Kuwaiti national archives.” The Secretary-General repeats his call on anyone who may have information on their whereabouts to come forward.

ENDS

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