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Britain's Foreign Secretary: More Cooperation Expected from Iraq - 2003-01-14


British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has called for Iraq to provide a deeper level of cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors. He says free access for inspectors is only part of what the U.N. Security Council has required Iraq to provide.

The British foreign secretary said the Security Council resolution governing the inspections requires Iraq to actively help the inspectors do their job.

"This does not just mean that the traffic policemen allow the inspectors to go around Iraq," he explained. "It means that there is positive compliance by the Iraqi government, not least in explaining the whereabouts of all the materials for weapons of mass destruction, which the previous inspectors identified in February 1999 and which these inspectors have so far yet to fully identify."

According to the Reuter news agency, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency made a similar statement in Moscow. Mohamed ElBaradei is quoted as saying the inspectors need more information from Iraq, including evidence it has destroyed its weapons of mass destruction. He is quoted as saying it is important for Iraq to come forward with more cooperation before his scheduled report to the Security Council on January 27.

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