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Iraq Will Accept UN Resolution, Expect Arab League Sources


Arab ministers meeting in Cairo are indicating Iraq plans to accept the new U.N. Security Council resolution requiring that Baghdad disarm. Iraqi media report Saddam Hussein has called an emergency session of parliament to discuss the resolution. Officials throughout the Arab world say approval could come within the next few days.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, in Cairo for an emergency meeting of the Arab League, said Baghdad has accepted the resolution. The Saudi foreign minister said everyone has welcomed the fact that the issue of Iraq was decided in the Security Council, and that Iraq has agreed to the return of weapons inspectors.

But sources in the Arab League tell VOA they expect it will be another few days before Iraq formally announces its full acceptance of the Security Council resolution. It has until Friday to decide.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said he understands a formal statement is being prepared in Baghdad, and he expects a positive reaction from the Iraqis. Mr. Maher said Iraq is ready to make an announcement at the highest level in Baghdad that the country is ready to deal with any Security Council resolution, so long as it does not include any automatic military threat against Iraq.

The 15-member Security Council, which includes Syria, unanimously approved the resolution Friday.

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk el-Shara said Syria voted for the resolution following high-level discussions and assurances from the United States.

Mr. el-Shara said U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had sent a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad assuring him that there was nothing in the resolution that could be used as an excuse to attack Iraq.

The foreign ministers of Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar and Yemen have all said they plan to support the Security Council resolution.

In Iraq, state-run newspapers on Sunday described the resolution as "bad and unfair," but said Baghdad was quietly studying the resolution, and would issue an appropriate response in the next few days.

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