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- From: C-afp@DELETETHISclari.net (AFP)
- Subject: Iraq says ready to cooperate with new UN rapporteur
- Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 5:20:07 PSTBAGHDAD, Nov 14 (AFP) - Baghdad on Sunday said it was ready to work with the successor to Max van der Stoel, the UN human rights rapporteur for Iraq, who resigned earlier this month. "Iraq is ready to cooperate with whoever succeeds van der Stoel," the head of the Iraqi parliament's human rights committee, Khaled al-Saidi, told AFP. "Iraq's doors are open to the person whose work conforms with international law and the UN charter, who respects Iraq's sovereignty and does not meddle in its internal affairs," Saidi added. He urged the United Nations should choose "someone who conforms to the working standards of the international organisation." They must "conform to reality without falsifying it or putting it at the service of a bad and preconceived objective, as van der Stoel did." Van der Stoel resigned on November 5, two days after releasing a report charging that human rights abuses in Iraq were worsening and urging Baghdad to release the names of all detainees and those who had died in custody. Baghdad, which lambasted the report and called its author a "stooge" of Washington, has categorically refused to allow UN human rights observers to be deployed on its territory. "This resignation is proof of a lack of credibility of all the reports against the Iraqi people over the last few years," Saidi added. Meanwhile, Iraq's permanent representation to the United Nations in Geneva has said Baghdad is willing to cooperate "with all the UN organisations for human rights." In a statement published by the Iraqi press on Sunday, it said "Stoel was neither impartial nor objective. He exceeded his mandate by carrying out US and British political objectives, hostile to Iraq." The 53 member states of the UN human rights commission are to meet November 17 to discuss his replacement.