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The latest rumour is that the vote may be on Wenesday (see the Reuters report below). Best wishes, Gabriel voices uk ****************************** U.N.-Iraq Talks End; No Decision on Inspectors Fri May 3, 4:00 PM ET By Evelyn Leopold UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iraq and the United Nations (news - web sites) on Friday ended three days of detailed talks on disarmament programs but there was no breakthrough on the return of U.N. weapons inspectors to Baghdad, diplomats said. Calling the talks "useful, frank and focused," Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told reporters there would be another round of discussions, the third this year with U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites). The first meeting was on March 7 on the U.N. weapons inspectors, key to easing U.N. sanctions against Iraq, imposed when Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990. The first went into Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites), spending seven years checking into weapons of mass destruction. They left before the United States and Britain bombed Iraq in December 1998 to punish Baghdad for not cooperating with inspectors and have not been allowed to return since then. Iraq says it has complied with U.N. demands. With U.S. threats to topple President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and U.S. bombing over no-flight zones, Iraqi officials were cautious about making any definitive commitments, the diplomats said. Sabri's 15-member delegation included at least four high-level arms experts on nuclear, chemical and other weapons and technical fields. Diplomats described the talks as serious and focused on core issues that have kept Iraq under U.N. sanctions since it invaded Kuwait in August 1990. "This was the first time in several years that Iraq and United Nations technical experts have been able to talk shop," U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said. The Iraqi experts spent Thursday discussing weapons programs and sizing up chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix. He is executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, known as UNMOVIC, in charge of ridding Iraq of biological, chemical and ballistic missile programs. With him was Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, responsible for nuclear weapons. Before the talks began, Sabri as well as Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Mohammed Aldouri, said they would raise all pending issues: the U.S.-British imposed no-fly zone, American threats against Baghdad, and the lifting of the sanctions. Nevertheless, admission of the inspectors might be Iraq's best chance of putting off a military showdown with the United States. The Bush administration has made no secret of its intention to move against Saddam at some point, saying Iraq was probably accumulating dangerous arms. SANCTIONS REVISION VOTE POSSIBLE NEXT WEEK The Security Council is moving closer to a vote on a revision of Iraqi sanctions regulations, possibly on Wednesday following agreement among key council members. These would allow the freer flow of civilian supplies to Iraq but include a "goods review list" of items with possible military use that need to be approved by council members. Russia and the United States have agreed on the list. Currently, many items, except food and medicine, are subject to a separate review by council members, any one of whom can block a contract. The new regulations are part of the oil-for-food program, which is renewed every six months. The program allows Iraq to sell oil and use the money for food, medicine and a host of other goods to ease the impact of sanctions on the population. They are the only remaining element of American "smart sanctions" proposals. Tighter monitoring of Iraq's borders to prevent smuggling was rejected by neighboring nations. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk