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[casi] Re: [iac-disc.] Iraq to allow Inspections

This from Yahoo news.  It's AP
Carolyn Scarr

Iraq Accepts Weapons Inspectors
 Mon Sep 16, 7:14 PM ET

 By DAFNA LINZER, Associated Press Writer

 UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Iraq unconditionally accepted the return of U.N.
weapons inspectors late Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan ( news
- web sites) said, nearly four years after the inspectors left Baghdad.

"I can confirm to you that I have received a letter from the Iraqi
authorities conveying its decision to allow the return of inspectors
without conditions to continue their work," a pleased Annan said.

"There is good news," Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said moments
earlier. Sabri refused to comment further and left U.N. headquarters
after a day of negotiations on the text of the letter.

Sabri and Arab League chief Amr Moussa had met late with Annan to
transmit the letter from the Iraqi government.

"I'm now passing the letter to the Security Council and they will have
to decide what they do next and of course Mr. Blix and his team will be
ready to continue their work," Annan said. He wouldn't answer any
questions from reporters but his office was preparing to release the
text of the letter.

Under Security Council resolutions, sanctions imposed on Iraq after its
1990 invasion of Kuwait cannot be lifted until U.N. inspectors certify
that its weapons of mass destruction have been destroyed. Inspectors
left the country in 1998 ahead of U.S. and British airstrikes to punish
Iraq for not cooperating with inspections.

Since then, Iraq has refused to allow inspectors to return, and the
stalemate had split the United States, Britain, Russian, France and
China  the five powerful members of the U.N. Security Council.

The turnabout in Iraq, after four years of stalemate, came days after
President Bush ( news - web sites) addressed the U.N. General Assembly
debate and said that Iraq must comply with Security Council resolutions
or face the consequences.

Annan credited Bush late Monday.

"I believe the president's speech galvanized the international
community," Annan said.

Top Bush aides huddled after Annan's announcement, preparing a response.

Annan said the Arab league had played a key role in bringing about the
Iraqi response.

Annan thanked the league's chief, Amr Moussa of Egypt, "for his
strenuous efforts in helping to convince Iraq to allow the return of the

-0- wrote:

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