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UN: Council Members Receive Edited Iraqi Declaration

United Nations, 18 December 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The 10 rotating UN Security Council members each received a 3,000-page edited version of Iraq's 12,000-page arms declaration today, one day before chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix is due to give council members a preliminary assessment of the document. Blix's spokesman Ewen Buchanan said the edited versions did not include sensitive material, such as information that could be used for developing nuclear programs.

In Iraq, more weapons inspectors are due to arrive today to assist the 105 experts now seaching the country for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. UN spokesman Hiro Ueki says the inspectors have searched 80 sites since they started their work late last month.

In London yesterday, some 300 Iraqi dissidents ended five days of talks with an agreement to form a committee to help oversee the transition of Iraq's government if President Saddam Hussein is ousted. The deal came after the meeting was extended by two days, and despite the walkout by about 30 delegates.

The follow-up committee is due to meet in Iraqi Kurdistan next month.