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UN: Security Council To Hold Open Debate On Iraq

United Nations, 12 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The 15 members of the UN Security Council have decided unanimously to hold an open debate on Iraq on 16 October. The decision means that dozens of UN ambassadors will have an opportunity to tell the council what they think of U.S. and British proposals for a tough new UN resolution requiring Iraq to disarm or face a possible U.S.-led military attack.

The resolution is not expected to be introduced for formal debate before the session takes place.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday he does not expect the Security Council will adopt one resolution authorizing force against Iraq, but will more likely pass a two-stage approach proposed by France.

Also yesterday, Iraq said it is ready to receive UN weapons inspectors beginning 19 October. Iraq's UN ambassador, Mohammed Aldouri, said Iraq wants the inspectors to first come to Iraq, and then together they will solve such issues as the right of inspectors to conduct interviews, as well as the possibility of flying U-2 surveillance planes over Iraq.

The United States denounced the plan, saying it is further proof of Iraq's deceptions.