US has denied it had asked head of the UN inspection team of Iraqi weapons Hans Blix not to announce that he has a team ready to go to Iraq.
“We didn't tell him what to say or not to say,” said Richard Boucher, US Department of State’s spokesman, according to the department’s press briefing Thursday.
Boucher, who was speaking to reporters the same day, added that ”there was a meeting last week, the College of Commissioners discussed with him obviously the state of his preparations and he discussed with them the state of his preparations.”
The spokesman said Blix described the discussions as being held on an “advisory basis.”
“… he's the one that describes it and he describes it accurately,” commented Boucher.
The official added that when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Blix about 10 days ago, “there were two important elements, let me cite, from the conversation.
“The first was that the Secretary made quite clear her appreciation for the methodical and systematic way that he was preparing for the inspections. She made it explicit to him that our election or any other timetable should not distort his efforts in that regard and he should continue along the lines that he had set in making the best possible preparations for inspections in Iraq.”
“He [Blix] made quite clear that what he is waiting for is Iraq to accept the resolution,” Boucher went on to say.
Iraq has repeatedly refused to cooperate with Blix’s committee (UNMOVIC, formed in December in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1284.
In the meantime, the UN official has been preparing his staff for the task while waiting for Iraq’s approval to admit the team into the country.
The Security Council links and the lifting of the decade-old sanctions on Iraq to the country’s compliance with the UN resolutions – Albawaba.com
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