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U-N Permanent Security Council Members Meet On Iraq - 2002-10-21


The U-S ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, hosted the meeting with his British, Chinese, French and Russian counterparts.

The chief U-N weapons inspector -- Hans Blix -- travels to Moscow Tuesday to talk to top Russian officials about the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq. News reports Monday quote Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Yury Fedotov as saying Russia expects that the new U-S resolution on weapons inspections will not include unacceptable demands or threaten the use of force.

U-S Secretary of State Colin Powell told U-S television interviewers Sunday the resolution will detail what he called a "new and tough weapons inspections" program, and say there will be consequences if Baghdad violates the resolution's requirements. On Monday, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the Bush administration will insist on what he termed a "zero tolerance" policy for any violations of U-N resolutions on weapons inspections.

France has led a move for U-N resolutions that do not specify the use of military force if Iraq fails to fully comply with inspections. France is one of five permanent Security Council members with veto power.

Iraqi officials said again Sunday any new resolution will contradict agreements Baghdad has already made with U-N officials concerning the return of inspectors.

Meanwhile, The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is urging Iraq to provide absolute cooperation with U-N inspections. In an opinion article in Monday's Washington Post, I-A-E-A chief nuclear inspector Mohamed El Baradei also appealed to the international community to give inspections a chance before resorting to what he called "other alternatives."

Mr. Powell says the United States is only interested in removing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction -- and that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein can stay in power if he is disarmed. But he says the Iraqi people would be betterm off with a different leader and a new regime.

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