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Saturday September 11 4:47 AM ET Key UN Powers To Meet On Iraq Wednesday In London Full Coverage Iraq - US Conflict By Bernie Woodall UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council agreed Friday to hold a meeting on Iraq in London next week, including China which had refused to attend a similar gathering in Washington, diplomats said. Both British and U.S. officials said the goal of the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, was to conclude a new Security Council policy on Iraq by the end of September when foreign ministers of the five veto-wielding countries meet on the edges of the U.N. General Assembly. A Chinese spokesman, Chen Ranfeng, said Beijing had accepted the invitation by Britain for a meeting in London of political directors concerned with Iraqi policy. He said the reason was that the London meeting would be a continuation of U.N. talks on Iraq among the five -- the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China -- rather than a ``new mechanism.'' ``And that's an important point,'' he added without elaborating. The United States wanted to hold a meeting among political directors in Washington last week but China declined to attend. U.S. officials said they backed a British-Dutch draft resolution but there is little chance China, Russia and France would agree without major changes. Britain will be represented by a political director, Emyr Jones-Parry, while Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering will attend for the United States. The 15-nation Security Council has made no headway in restoring arms control functions in Iraq since mid-December U.S.-British bombing raids. No weapons inspector has been allowed back in Baghdad since then. The British-Dutch draft resolution would suspend Iraqi sanctions on exports, such as oil, if Baghdad complied with key disarmament demands. The sanctions, imposed in August 1990 after Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait, are linked to weapons demands. Britain quickly gathered co-sponsors for its draft among the 10 nonpermanent council members. They include the Netherlands, which helped draw up the resolution, Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Gambia, Namibia and Slovenia. France, in a rival draft, would suspend sanctions on Iraqi imports as well as exports immediately after a new arms commission is set up and functioning. In contrast the British-Dutch draft calls for several steps over eight months to make sure Iraq has complied with key arms demands. Nevertheless Britain has indicated it might consider easing sanctions on imports providing arms inspections resumed and financial controls were in place. -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Please do not sent emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***