Paper: Iraq Ready to Resume UN Talks when Embargo is Lifted
Baghdad is ready to resume dialogue with the United Nations on condition that the crippling decade-old embargo imposed on it is lifted immediately, Al-Iraq newspaper said Friday.
"Iraq is not opposed to a constructive and fair dialogue with the United Nations and its secretary-general (Kofi Annan) as long as that involves no preconditions" on the part of the world body, the paper said.
"The United Nations must take into account fundamental issues to start this dialogue including the immediate lifting of the unjust embargo imposed on Iraq," it said.
The paper said the organization "must also recognize the great efforts undertaken by Iraq and the fact that the country has conformed to all UN Security Council resolutions" tied to Iraq's 1990 occupation of Kuwait.
Baghdad and the United Nations are expected to reopen a dialogue in January, more than a year after a UN Security Council resolution, introduced in December 1999, offered a suspension of sanctions in return for Iraq's cooperation with a new arms control regime.
There have been no arms control inspections in Iraq since the UN evacuated its inspection team from the country in December 1998 shortly before air raids by the United States and Britain -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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