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US Ambassador: 'Proactive' Iraqi Cooperation is Required - 2003-01-10

The United Nations Security Council expressed its full support for the weapons inspections team in Iraq after a briefing from team leaders, Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei.

Security Council members expressed confidence in the inspections team's work to date.

The United Nations' top weapons inspectors told the Security Council Thursday, after six weeks of inspections, there are no indications yet that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. But the weapons inspectors said Baghdad has left too many questions unanswered.

The lingering doubts about the sincerity of the Iraq's arms declaration, submitted on December 7 of last year, led members to conclude that Iraq is not sufficiently cooperating with the inspection team.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte says the declaration represents a deliberate attempt to deceive by omission.

"We considered their declaration to be a further material breach," he said. "We are not the only ones who have commented on it, Iraq's lack of proactive co-operation today. I think virtually every member who spoke on this subject talked about the importance of not only having a legalistic approach to the inspections process, but a pro-active cooperation on the part of Iraq is required. In other words, just providing access is not sufficient to constitute active cooperation."