Friday, April 3, 1998 Published at 22:11 GMT 23:11 UK
World: Middle East
Iraq: UN inspectors end initial searches
The inspections were a success
United Nations weapons experts in Iraq have completed their initial inspections of the eight presidential sites with a visit to President Saddam Hussein's main palace in Baghdad.
The inspections were a key part of the deal brokered by the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, in February which averted a military confrontation after Iraq had refused to allow the teams full access.
The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, said there had been full Iraqi cooperation. He said the inspections refuted United States and British accusations that the sites contained stockpiles of illegal weapons.
Mr Aziz added that the result made it imperative that the UN Security Council work towards lifting sanctions.
Some of the buildings in the presidential compounds will be subject to further visits by UN inspectors. A BBC correspondent in Baghdad says this is something the Iraqi government is bound to find difficult to accept.
Iraq has repeatedly said it has destroyed all its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in line with UN resolutions passed after the Gulf war in 1991.
However, Unscom, the UN commission charged with disarming Iraq, is not yet satisfied that Iraq has handed over all the details about all its non-conventional weapons.