Posted by Esperanza from 66-52-14-42.lsan.dial.netzero.com (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, February 08, 2003 at 2:38PM :
Russia: No second 'resolution' needed
MOSCOW: A top Russian official said on Friday no second UN Security Council resolution was needed at the moment on disarming Iraq, the Interfax news agency reported.
It quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov, one of Russia's top spokesmen on Iraq, as saying that further action depended on reports to be presented by top UN arms inspectors due to return to Baghdad this week.
"Further moves by the Security Council on Iraq depend on the sort of reports produced by... Hans Blix and Mohamed El Baradei... on the outcome of their weekend trip to Baghdad," he was quoted as saying.
Blix, the chief UN inspector and El Baradei, head of the UN's nuclear watchdog agency, are to issue another report to the Security Council on February 14.
Fedotov did not rule out future Security Council moves. "This must not be ruled out, but the issue is about what sort of resolution there will be," he was quoted as saying. "Decisions of the Security Council must be aimed at settling the Iraqi issue and not complicating it."
The same day, a UN spokesman said that an Iraqi biologist was interviewed for more than three hours on Thursday in the first such encounter with UN weapons inspectors without Iraqi Government monitors.
"A private interview was conducted with an Iraqi biology scientist alone. The interview lasted three hours and 32 minutes," said Hiro Ueki, spokesman for the inspectors in Baghdad.
"During the interview a number of issues were addressed," he said in a brief statement.
Iraq's National Monitoring Centre, the government's liaison with the inspectors, identified the biologist as Sinan Abdel Hassan Mohi.
Amer al-Saadi, science adviser to President Saddam Hussein, announced at a press conference in Baghdad late on Thursday that "one of the BW (biological weapons) scientists is now giving an interview privately."
Iraq on Thursday poured scorn on US accusations that it was cheating weapons inspectors and had links with al-Qaida, as the United States and Britain called for a new UN resolution to authorize war.
An elite US air assault division was ordered to deploy to the Gulf region and US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld left for Europe to press the case for a possible war on Iraq.
Iraqi officials responded angrily to US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who on Wednesday presented the UN Security Council with spy satellite photographs, tapes of bugged conversations and other material he said was damning evidence of Iraq's determination to hide banned weapons.
Amer al-Saadi said the allegations were "outrageous and not convincing," designed as "home consumption for the uninformed."
He told the news conference: "We will send a detailed letter to the Security Council... to rebut Powell's speech point by point."
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