war in iraq


IAEA Director General Heads for "Crucial" Talks in Baghdad

February 06, 2003

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei is heading to Baghdad for what he described as a "crucial" round of talks with senior Iraqi officials. Dr. ElBaradei and chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix are scheduled to arrive in Baghdad Saturday.

"Our mission in Baghdad is crucial," Dr. ElBaradei said, speaking to reporters in London 6 February. "We hope we will secure full and one hundred percent cooperation from Iraq."

In London, Dr. ElBaradei and Dr. Blix met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair for discussions, following the chief inspectors' attendance at the UN Security Council briefing by the United States 5 February in New York. "I think the message coming from the Security Council is very clear, that Iraq is not cooperating fully," Dr. ElBaradei said, "and that they need to show drastic change in terms of cooperation. The message also coming from the Security Council is that time is very critical, and that we need to show progress in our report, which will be due on the 14th of this month."

He underscored that he will "continue to make every possible effort to resolve the Iraqi issue through peaceful means." Top issues that need to be resolved include Iraq's acceptance of surveillance flights, private interviews for scientists, and national legislation that would ban weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. ElBaradei and Dr. Blix are scheduled to brief the Security Council 14 February on the outcome of the Baghdad talks and the status of ongoing site inspections.

Source IAEA


war in iraq