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URLs for State Dept. briefing on Iraq (... and a London update: SANCTIONS ENDING???)

Following are the web addresses for the U.S. State Department's special
briefing on Iraq (September 13, with Spokesman James Rubin and
Undersecretary Martin Indyk):
> Report (new):
> Transcript: 

Also following is a list of reportage:
> BBC:
> LATimes:
> WashPost:
> Reuters:
> AP:

All rebuttals welcome ...

... though the point may be moot.  Following is a Reuters update from
today's London meeting of the 'permanent five' that reports:

"One delegate said that for the first time, the United States and Britain
agreed to discuss suspending sanctions on Iraqi imports of civilian goods as
well as oil export limits if Baghdad cooperated with a new U.N. disarmament

Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, MN USA
U.N. Powers Report Progress On Iraq Sanctions 
03:04 p.m Sep 15, 1999 Eastern 
By Paul Taylor, Diplomatic Editor 

LONDON (Reuters) - The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council
made progress Wednesday in narrowing differences on conditions for easing
sanctions on Iraq but an agreement cannot be guaranteed, Britain said. 

After a day of talks among senior officials of the United States, Russia,
Britain, France and China, a British Foreign Office spokesman said:
``Progress was made but eventual success is not certain.'' 

One delegate said that for the first time, the United States and Britain
agreed to discuss suspending sanctions on Iraqi imports of civilian goods as
well as oil export limits if Baghdad cooperated with a new U.N. disarmament

U.S. officials declined to confirm or deny the report. If confirmed, it
would be a major concession by Washington, which has so far insisted the
import restrictions must remain to prevent President Saddam Hussein
reconstituting chemical and biological weapons stocks. 

The sanctions have been in place since the 1990-91 Gulf conflict that
followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and they have caused severe hardship in
the once oil-rich nation. 

The British spokesman said ambassadors and senior officials of the Big Five
would meet in New York later this week and early next week to prepare for a
five-power foreign ministers' meeting during the United Nations General
Assembly next week to seek agreement on a Security Council resolution. 

``There is no guarantee this will be achieved, but we must explore the
possibilities to create a united Security Council position to put pressure
on Iraq to meet its international obligations,'' the spokesman added. 


International monitoring of Iraq's suspected weapons of mass destruction
programs collapsed last year when U.S. and British forces staged a four-day
air attack to punish Baghdad for obstructing the U.N. inspectors. 

Diplomats said the most constructive feature of Wednesday's meeting was that
it focused on the principles of a new arms control regime and incentives for
Iraq to cooperate, rather than raking over old differences among the big
powers or haggling over rival draft resolutions. 

``There was enormous progress because we agreed on the broad lines of how a
new disarmament commission would be set up and what it would do, and how it
could be packaged attractively to Iraq,'' one delegate said. 

Once appointed, the new body would have 60 days to establish a work program
for completing Iraq's disarmament and setting up long-term monitoring, and
Baghdad would have to comply for a trial period before the Security Council
decided to suspend sanctions. 

He said the political directors did not discuss the length of the trial
period, the duration of the suspension or how it could be renewed or

Such details could yet be sticking points. 

The source said the agency and its head would have to be seen as more
politically neutral than the previous U.N. Special Commission headed by
Australian Richard Butler, which Iraq regarded as taking its orders from

Iraq has vowed not to let inspectors back in. Deputy Prime Minister Tareq
Aziz reiterated Baghdad's position that it would accept nothing less than a
complete lifting of the sanctions. 

``We are not concerned with this meeting,'' he told reporters in Baghdad
before the outcome of the London talks was known. 

``Our legitimate demands are known: the condemnation of the aggression
against Iraq and the lifting of the embargo. Anything less than this will
not be accepted by the steadfasting (Iraqi) people.'' 

France, Russia and China had pushed for import sanctions to be suspended if
Iraq cooperates while Washington and London opposed any loosening of the
import ban, although they were willing to allow foreign investment in Iraq's
vital oil and gas sector in due course. 

Saddam has made only limited progress in ending Iraq's international
isolation and breaking down the wall of sanctions amid an intensifying
propaganda war with Washington. 

Iraq chaired a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers this week and is
stepping up a campaign to highlight the plight of Iraqi civilians,
particularly children, under sanctions. 

The United States has reacted by accusing Saddam of starving his own people.

Diplomats note that, with the U.S. presidential campaign gathering steam,
the window for Washington to make any substantial concession on easing
sanctions could close soon. 

British officials say they hope to get a resolution passed by the end of

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