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Annan, Arab League Official Ask Iraq to Allow Weapons Inspectors - 2002-09-14

Iraq came under more pressure Saturday to re-admit weapons inspectors unconditionally, from Arab governments and the U.N.'s top diplomat, Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Foreign ministers from the League of Arab States, anxious to avoid a U.S. military strike in their region, are urging Iraq to re-admit weapons inspectors unconditionally. They met with Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri and asked him to tell his superiors in Baghdad to show flexibility.

"We said loudly and quite clearly that we are for the integrity of Iraq, for its stability, as well as for the full implementation of all the resolutions regarding Iraq," said Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud, who chaired the meeting.

Secretary-General Annan also met with the Iraqi official, pressing him to act without delay.

These discussions will continue on an urgent basis. President Bush says he is keeping open the option of unilateral military action to force Iraq to meet U.N. demands to disarm.