Tags: Iraq | Ready | Resume | U.N. | Talks

Iraq Ready to Resume U.N. Talks

Tuesday, 05 February 2002 12:00 AM

The offer was made at the United Nations Tuesday by Amre Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League. Moussa brought the message from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after visiting Baghdad last month.

Annan said he was prepared to talk to an Iraqi delegation about how to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions. Talks could include negotiating the return of U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq. Inspectors were last in the country in November 1998 before being expelled.

The overture comes as the United States appears to be widening its war against terrorism beyond Afghanistan. President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address last week named Iraq as part of an "axis of evil" of countries believed to be developing nuclear weapons. North Korea and Iran were also named.

Annan last held talks with Iraqi officials last year. At that time, Hussein insisted U.N. sanctions against Iraq must end before discussions could continue. In Hussein's newest invitation, he said there were "no preconditions."

The U.N. Security Council has said sanctions can only be lifted after it is satisfied Iraq is no longer seeking to produce chemical, nuclear or biological weapons.

At the same time, however, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan Tuesday issued a warning to a Russian newspaper that the United States could face something "even more terrible" than the Sept. 11 attacks if it continues with its present policies.

Responding to President Bush's State of the Union address, Ramadan reiterated Baghdad's denials of involvement in the attacks and accused Washington of "dirty policies.

"The United States has toughened the policies that were the reason for the events in New York and Washington," Ramadan told Vremya Novostei.

"Its policies have become even dirtier. If things continue like this, I believe that America will draw an even stronger backfire," he said, adding that "Something even more terrible than Sept. 11 may happen. It will be a very tough response."

Ramadan claimed that Iraq had destroyed banned weapons and called U.N. arms inspectors seeking to enter Iraq "spies."

Copyright 2002 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The offer was made at the United Nations Tuesday by Amre Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League. Moussa brought the message from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein after visiting Baghdad last month. Annan said he was prepared to talk to an Iraqi delegation about how to...
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Tuesday, 05 February 2002 12:00 AM
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