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Saturday, February 13, 1999 Published at 04:25 GMT


UN reveals Iraq crisis panels

Left out: Richard Butler is not part of the new UN plans

The United Nations has announced the names of experts who will sit on panels charged with dealing with Iraq, its weapons of mass destuction and its relationships with the international community.


The BBC's Jon Leyne at the UN: "The security council wants to bring Iraq back into the fold"
Coming as the US and UK continue with their policy of "containment" of President Saddam Hussein with air strikes against military targets that threaten coalition forces, the three panels will be told to gather evidence on Iraq's activities - and propose solutions to the situation.

The panels will look at Kuwaiti prisoners of war, humanitarian issues and the most critical of the subjects, disarmament.

Twelve members of Unscom, the weapons inspection body that Baghdad vowed never to allow back in the country, are on the disarmament panel, though the chief weapons inspector Richard Butler is not.


[ image: Sanctions: Iraq says its people are suffering]
Sanctions: Iraq says its people are suffering
The most senior Unscom figure on the panel is Mr Butler's deputy, Charles Duelfer.

Iraq's blocking of Unscom inspections last December prompted the December air strikes carried out by the US and UK.

Baghdad has yet to react to the decision but both the UK and US say they are satisfied with the list of experts.

Brazilian Celso Amorim, a member of the Security Council and chair of all three panels, said that the groups had to make recommendations by April 15 on how the UN should progress over Iraq.

The Security Council is currently split over how to deal with the Iraq question, with some members condemning the US/UK attacks and Baghdad demanding the lifting of sanctions.

American UN envoy Peter Burleigh welcomed the list and praised the fact that it included experts from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.



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