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Ritter in Baghdad without Annan's knowledge

 Ritter in Baghdad without Annan's knowledge-report 

 LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - U.N. arms chief Richard
 Butler did not inform Secretary-General Kofi Annan that he
 was dispatching Scott Ritter at the head of 50 inspectors to
 Baghdad, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper said on

 Quoting ``different sources'' at the United Nations, the
 Arabic-language daily said Butler's decision to send Ritter
 was aimed at testing Iraq's commitment to an arms
 inspection deal signed with Annan last month. 

 It said Annan had urged Butler not to rush into decisions, but
 to test Iraq's compliance first by inspecting ``presidential

 It said Butler did not tell Annan he was sending Ritter
 ``although the two men had lunch a day before Butler told
 the Iraqi government that the inspectors team was on its
 way to Iraq.'' 

 ``Is Butler's choice of American Scott Ritter, whom the
 Iraqi government has repeatedly objected to, a confirmation
 of the authority of the special commission (disarming
 Iraq)...or is it aimed at sparking a crisis to torpedo the
 agreement between the secretary-general and the Iraqi
 government?'' Al-Hayat quoted a diplomat at the U.N. as

 Ritter, branded a U.S. spy by Iraqi officials and vilified by
 the government in January, arrived in Baghdad on Thursday,
 leading around 50 U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM)

 His visit is the first test of Iraq's pledge last month to give
 the inspectors unrestricted access under an accord which
 also lets them, accompanied by diplomats, into controversial
 ``presidential sites'' where UNSCOM believes Iraq may have
  hidden material related to prohibited arms.

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