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Colin Powell Confident UN Will End Iraq Sanctions - 2003-05-16


After his meetings in Germany, Secretary Powell said he is confident the UN Security Council will quickly agree to end sanctions against Iraq. Amy Katz has more on that and the other developments in Iraq.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE
“It should be possible to come to closure quickly over the next several days or week on a new UN resolution that will lift sanctions, and put in place the authorities necessary for us to begin helping the Iraqi people in a more direct way.”

Secretary of State Powell said that would ensure the participation of the international community especially the UN in the rebuilding of Iraq.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad Friday, the U.S. Civil Administrator - Paul Bremer - banned thousands of officials from the former ruling Baath party from playing any role in a future Iraqi government. At the same time, coalition forces continued to search for senior officials of the ousted Saddam Hussein regime. A high-raking Baath party chief was taken into custody Thursday.

In Karbala - the discovery of another mass grave. The remains of about 45 bodies were excavated at the site - in the Shiite Muslim holy city in 3 hours Friday. Residents say they suspect the remains of as many as 5,000 people may be buried in the area.

NATURAL SOUND – HAKIM IN ARABIC

In Najaf, Shi’ite Muslim leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir Hakim led Friday prayers for the first time since he returned last week from 2 decades in exile in Iran. He called for resistance against any attempt by the U.S. or Britain to force leaders on the Iraqi people. He is the leader of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. That organization is participating in a council which includes former opposition groups working to create the outline for a future Iraqi government.

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