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Tuesday, May 26, 1998 Published at 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK

World: Middle East

UN official sets out sanctions 'road map'

The confrontation between the US and Iraq over weapons inspections brought the region the Gulf to the brink of war.

The UN chief weapons inspector for Iraq, Richard Butler, has said he is planning to draw up a list of outstanding issues that Baghdad must address in order to get sanctions lifted by October.

He said he would be discussing new information the UN has obtained about Iraq's weapons programme at a meeting in New York later this week with Iraq's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Said al-Sahaf.

If Iraq responded by supplying missing details, Mr Butler said he could soon tell the Security Council the matter was concluded.

"I now propose that we share as much as we can with both the Iraqis and the Council, we design a roadmap and tell them what is left to do," he said.

Mr Butler said he had no idea if Iraq would accept the plan.

When the Council is satisfied, sanctions imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait can be lifted, including a freeze on oil exports.
[ image: Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf accuses US of 'hostility']
Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf accuses US of 'hostility'

The Iraqi Foreign Minister has called on the UN Security Council to condemn the Clinton administration's "hostile" policy towards Iraq.

Mr Al-Sahaf complained about comments by a former Washington official, Richard Pearl.

Mr Al-Sahaf said statements by Mr Pearl - a deputy defence secretary during the Reagan presidency - revealed a policy "of threats and instigation against a UN founding member state".

In a statement sent to the UN Security Council carried by the Iraqi news agency INA, Mr Sahaf said: "This US official called on the so-called Iraqi opposition parties to work against President Saddam Hussein and to liquidate President Saddam Hussein as soon as possible.

Mr Pearl's comments are said to have been published in a Turkish newpaper, Aydinlik earlier this month.

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