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Friday, 2 August, 2002, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Iraq's letter to the United Nations
The letter came from Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In a letter to the United Nations, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri invited the chief weapons inspector to Baghdad for "technical talks". The following is a translation of the letter.

H.E. Mr Kofi Annan,
Secretary General of the United Nations


At the outset I would like to express thanks and appreciation for your earnest effort in bringing the ongoing dialogue between us to reach a comprehensive solution to the outstanding problems between Iraq and the United Nations, so as to insure the implementation of all the requirements of Security Council resolutions, especially your sincere efforts during the round of talks in Vienna during the period of 4-5 July 2002.

Noting our agreement during that round of talks on continuing communications including the continuation of technical talks between the United Nations and Iraq, I have the honour to inform your Excellency of the desire of the Government of the Republic of Iraq to conduct a round of technical talks between Iraqi experts and the Chairman and experts of the United Nations Monitoring and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC) in Baghdad at the earliest agreed-upon time to review what was accomplished in disarmament issues during the period May 1991 until December 1998, to look into the remaining issues as viewed by the former UNSCOM which were included in the report of Ambassador Amorim to the Security Council on 30 March 1999, and to study and assess their importance and decide upon measures to resolve them when the inspection team returns to Iraq.

Excellency, the meeting of the experts from the Iraqi side and the Chairman and experts of UNMOVIC that we are suggesting does not carry a premature judgement on the opinion of Iraq or that of UNMOVIC regarding assessing what was achieved on disarmament issues, but rather aims at reaching a common ground on the scientific and practical criteria that will be adopted to treat and resolve what UNMOVIC might see as pending issues in the disarmament stage.

The suggested meeting will be in harmony with, and follows up on the suggestions you made in August 1998 to conduct a comprehensive review to the disarmament file and assess the degree of Iraq's implementation of its obligations.

We believe that this review will be an important step towards the appropriate legal and technical assessment and treatment of the issues of disarmament, and to establish a solid base for the next stage of monitoring and inspection activities, and to move forward towards that stage including agreeing on the practical arrangements to resume cooperation between Iraq and UNMOVIC in a way to strengthen the common ground to progress towards a comprehensive solution and a concurrent implementation of all the requirements of relevant Security Council Resolutions.

I would be very grateful if you would convey my letter here to the members of the Security Council.

Accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem.

Dr Naji Sabri,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq,
Baghdad, 1 August 2002

The BBC's Bridget Kendall
"This offer was well timed"
The BBC's Gavin Hewitt in Washington
"There is likely to be a lot of scepticism in the White House"
Jordan's King Abdullah
"The potential of a military strike on Iraq without a clear endgame I think concerns everybody"
Snr Iraqi diplomat Dr Mudhaffer Amin
"We are looking for a peaceful settlement"

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See also:

02 Aug 02 | Politics
02 Aug 02 | Middle East
02 Aug 02 | Americas
01 Aug 02 | Media reports
01 Aug 02 | Middle East
01 Aug 02 | Americas
30 Jul 02 | Americas
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