UN PRESS RELEASE:
IRAQ, IN LETTER TO UN, ACCEPTS NEW SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON WEAPONS INSPECTIONS
New York, Nov 13 2002 1:00PM
In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Iraq today indicated its willingness to accept the return of weapons inspectors to the country under the terms of a new Security Council resolution – a move immediately welcomed by the President of the 15-member body.
The Council President received copies of the letter through Mr. Annan, according to a UN spokesman.
Baghdad will accept Security Council resolution 1441 “despite its bad contents,” said Iraqi Ambassador Mohammad Al-Douri, quoting from the letter.
“We are prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable,” he told reporters in New York. “We are eager to see them perform their duties in accordance with international law as soon as possible.”
Iraq has nothing to fear from the arms inspectors because the country “has not and will not have” any weapons of mass destruction, the Ambassador said.
“We are always opting for the path of peace,” he added. “We choose always the peaceful ways and means, and this is part of our policy, that is to protect our country, to protect our nation, to protect the region also from the threat of war, which is real.”
The Council President, Ambassador Zhang Yishan of China, said he had been contacted by Mr. Al-Douri with the news.
“I informed the other members of the Security Council of the message coming from the Ambassador of Iraq, Ambassador Zhang said, adding that they welcomed the “correct” decision by the Iraqi Government and that they would like to see that resolution 1441 be implemented “fully and very effectively.”