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http://www.un.org/News/ossg/sgcuff.htm Remarks upon arrival at UNHQ, 20 February 2001 SG: Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen. I hope you all had a good long weekend. Who is going to ask the first question? Q: Do you have anything to say about Iraq? Do you think these raids are going to complicate your mission with the delegation that is coming? SG: Let me say that I was not consulted or informed before the air action. It was immediately after the air action that the US authorities called to explain to me that they saw this as routine, not escalation, not a qualitative difference in their activities in Iraq and that it was one action and it was not to continue. Obviously, the timing is a bit awkward for the talks that I am going to have on the 26th , but the Iraqis have confirmed that they are coming. So we will be able to pursue our attempts to break the impass and pull them in to cooperate with the UN. Q: How optimistic are you, Mr. Annan? SG: Ask me that question after my first round with the Iraqi authorities. We will know at the end of the talks. You have to have some hope, otherwise I wouldn't be getting into this exercise. It may take some time. I don't think we are going to have a miraculous breakthrough, but at least it is a beginning. It's a beginning. Q: Is there any intention to condemn the killing of many Iraqis because of the aggression? SG: I have been in touch with the President of the Security Council. The Council is seized of the matter. And as I said I have also spoken to the American Ambassador. And of course we are all coming back from a long weekend, and we will know this morning what action, if any, the Security Council is going to take. *************************************************** http://www.un.org/News/dh/latest/page2.html#44 Only Security Council can assess acts in Iraq 'no-fly zones,' Annan tells Baghdad 22 February – Responding to calls from Baghdad for a condemnation of recent air actions in Iraq, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has emphasized that only the Security Council can determine the legality of actions in the "no-fly zones" declared over parts of the country. The Secretary-General's position was voiced in a letter he sent yesterday to the Foreign Minister of Iraq, who earlier this week wrote to Mr. Annan calling for condemnation of last Friday's "act of aggression" by the United States and the United Kingdom. Mr. Annan's reply pointed out that only the Security Council can interpret its resolutions. "Consequently, only the Council itself is competent to determine whether or not its resolutions are of such a nature and effect as to provide a lawful basis for the 'no-fly zones' and for the actions that have been taken for their enforcement." The letter noted that the "no-fly zones" were declared by "certain Members" of the Security Council claiming authority under the Council's resolutions. Baghdad maintains that actions by the United States and the United Kingdom constituted a violation of the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait, and should be prevented by the UN peacekeeping mission in the area, which goes by the acronym UNIKOM. Responding to this position, the Secretary-General pointed out that since 1999, UNIKOM has recorded over 200 aerial violations of the demilitarized zone, although in most of those cases it was not possible to identify the aircraft involved or determine its nationality. Mr. Annan emphasized that UNIKOM's inability to identify the States that are responsible for conducting such flights does not mean that the UN condoned them. "I would note in this regard that, in view of the fact that the United States of America and the United Kingdom have been conducting military air operations in the region, the United Nations has intervened with representatives of those States urging them to respect the demilitarized zone," he wrote. The Iraqi Foreign Minister, along with a delegation from Baghdad, are due to arrive at UN Headquarters in New York next week for high-level talks aimed at breaking the current impasse. Commenting on the programme of the talks, a spokesman for Mr. Annan said today that "we have presented a format to the Iraqis and we are waiting for their reaction." ----------------------------------------------- FREE! The World's Best Email Address @email.com Reserve your name now at http://www.email.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk