Washington, 20 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - President Bill Clinton says the United States will wait and see whether Iraqi President Saddam Hussein keeps his word and complies with United Nations resolutions on weapons inspections.
It was Clinton's first public comment following the announcement in Geneva today that Iraq had agreed to permit all UN weapons inspectors to resume their duties in Iraq. Clinton said that the U.S. will remain resolute in its determination to prevent Saddam from building weapons of mass destruction.
Clinton said the decision announced after an emergency meeting of the UN's five permanent security council members, including Russia, strongly reaffirms the will of the international community that Saddam must comply unconditionally with UN mandates.
Even Russian diplomats, who brokered the agreement, conceded it was only a first step. Russian foreign ministry spokesman Valery Nesterushkin said today that there is much work to be done.