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Sec Council Wants Progress On 1990 Gulf War Issues

Security Council hopeful about progress on issues pending since 1990 Gulf war

25 June 2008 - The Security Council today said that recent identifications of human remains provided reason to hope for further progress in determining the fate of Kuwaitis and other nationals missing since Iraq's 1990 invasion, but lamented the lack of progress in finding the Kuwaiti national archive.

"Members of the Council noted that the total number of positive identifications of human remains by the Kuwaiti authorities had increased since the last report and were encouraged and hopeful about the possibility of further progress in the repatriation of remains," according to a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Alejandro Wolff of the United States, which holds the body's rotating presidency for June.

The number of Kuwaiti and third-country nationals whose remains have been identified has reached 235 - two more since the Council was last briefed on the issue in December 2007.

At the same time, Council members "noted with regret that there had been no further progress on the fate of the Kuwaiti national archive," and called on anyone who may have information about these documents to help clarify the matter.

Earlier today, the Council was briefed on the Secretary-General's latest report on the issue by High-level Coordinator Gennady Tarasov, who was appointed to his post in April following the death of former envoy Yuli Vorontsov last December.

Council Members were pleased to note the Secretary-General's observation that the Iraqi Government had shown "sensitivity and understanding as well as its sincere intention to assist in resolving the outstanding cases," and were confident that all parties, in particular Iraq and Kuwait, could work towards a "satisfactory solution."

In addition, the Council welcomed the news that Iraq has now formally invited Mr. Tarasov to the country to discuss outstanding issues, "early progress on which would help cement the existing friendly relations between Iraq and Kuwait."

ENDS

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