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Belarus: UN Discusses Alleged Sanctions Violation

United Nations, 20 February 2002 (RFE/RL) -- United Nations Security Council members have discussed a media report alleging that the Belarus government offered military training to Iraqi officers in violation of UN sanctions. A council diplomat told RFE/RL that the Council's oversight committee on Iraqi sanctions reviewed the report late yesterday.

The report, which appeared in October in the newspaper "Belaruskaya delovaya gazeta," said 10 Iraqi officers were invited to take a training course in Belarus last autumn.

The diplomat said the committee will discuss the issue again and could request an explanation from the Belarusian government.

Such a request would require unanimous consent from the 15 committee members and the diplomat said it is not certain whether all members favor further inquiry into the matter.

Earlier yesterday, Belarusian media quoted President Alyaksandr Lukashenka as denying other reports that his government was involved in arms smuggling in breach of UN sanctions.