Iraq Says UN Decision on Arms Body Meaningless
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said Saturday that a decision by the UN Security Council to approve a plan for a new arms inspection body in Iraq "means nothing to us."
"What has been decided by the Security Council concerning the commission that has been formed means nothing to us," Aziz told reporters.
The UN Security Council gave its unanimous approval Thursday to a blueprint for UNMOVIC, the arms inspection team that will replace the role of UNSCOM.
UNSCOM was accused by Baghdad of spying on behalf of Washington and Tel Aviv and left Iraq on the eve of US-British airstrikes in December 1998.
US LEGISLATOR TO GO ON HUMANITARIAN MISSION TO IRAQ
US Representative Tony Hall will travel to Iraq next week to evaluate the humanitarian situation there, his office in Washington announced Friday.
His trip, scheduled for April 16 to 20, will be the first time a US official has gone on a humanitarian mission to Iraq since the Gulf War, Hall's spokeswoman Deborah DeYoung said.
"I have been concerned about the humanitarian situation in Iraq for some time," he said.
The Democratic lawmaker is due to leave the United States late Friday for Amman before heading Sunday to Iraq, where he will spend at least one day in Baghdad, DeYoung said.
Hall's visit was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.
Hall is due to meet with representatives of relief organizations and visit schools, clinics and hospitals, according to a statement released late Thursday.
"I want to see what is happening in Iraq for myself and hear aid workers first hand," he said.
In addition to visiting the capital, Hall will travel to southern Iraq.
"There is ample evidence that the suffering is real, although the causes are less clear to me," said the 58-year-old lawmaker who has gone on several humanitarian missions – (AFP).
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)