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UN Resolution 'Unfair' Says Iraq - 2002-11-09


The Iraqi foreign minister says Baghdad is considering the latest U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraqi disarmament. He is attending a meeting of the Arab League, in Cairo.

Iraqi Foreign Minster Naji Sabri told reporters Saturday that the United States failed in its attempt to use the Security Council as what he called a "cover for aggression" against Iraq. He described the resolution itself as "bad and unjust," but said the Iraqi leadership is studying it calmly and will arrive at what he called an appropriate position.

Mr. Sabri flew to Cairo for a meeting of foreign ministers from the 22-member Arab League, officially opening Sunday. Informal talks Saturday are focusing on the U.N. Security Council resolution that was adopted unanimously Friday in New York. It gives Iraq seven days to accept the resolution's terms, which allow arms inspectors to hunt anywhere in Iraq for banned weapons.

In Baghdad, the official Iraqi news agency quoted an unnamed "authorized source" as saying the Iraqi response would be made in the next few days. The newspaper Babel, published by President Saddam Hussein's son, said the U.N. inspectors would be welcome because "Iraq has nothing to conceal."

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, Mr. Sabri said Iraq is determined to protect its territory, its dignity and its freedom.

He said the U.N. resolution, which was adopted following nearly two months of negotiation, showed that the international community was not on the same plane as the American administration, and what he called its "demented desire for war."

The U.N. resolution gives Iraq seven days to confirm its acceptance of the terms of the resolution and 30 days to declare what weapons of mass destruction and related materials it has in its possession. President Bush has warned that Iraq will face "severe consequences" if it does not fully comply with the U.N. demands.

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