Annan: Iraq Should Make Extra Effort to Return Kuwaiti Property

Published June 16th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Iraq on Thursday to make extra effort to find and return archives, military equipment and cultural items removed from Kuwait in the Gulf War. 

In a report to the Security Council, he acknowledged that "Iraq has returned a substantial quantity of property over a nine-year period of time, with the bulk of the handovers occurring between 1991 and 1994."  

But, he said, "there remain many items which Iraq is under obligation to return to Kuwait." 

An annex to the report listed military equipment demanded by Kuwait including eight F-1 Mirage planes, six M-84 tanks and several thousand surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles. 

The report was the second since December 17th, when the council overhauled its Iraq sanctions regime and asked Annan to appoint a coordinator to oversee the return of 605 missing persons and property to Kuwait. 

Annan appointed the former Russian ambassador to Washington, Yuli Vorontsov, on February 14th. 

"It may never be possible to reach a point at which there will be 100 percent certainty that all items in Iraq's possession have been returned," Annan wrote. 

But "Kuwait considers essential the return of archives and military equipment, as well as the items from the Islamic and National museums of Kuwait," he said. 

Urging Iraq to "make additional efforts" to make it possible to close the property dossier, he said that "understanding and goodwill are of critical importance to the success" of Vorontsov's mission - UNITED NATIONS (AFP) 


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