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Annan reports no progress on return of Kuwaiti property seized by Iraq

Annan reports no progress on return of Kuwaiti property seized by Iraq

There has been no progress in efforts to facilitate the return of property seized by Iraq during its occupation of Kuwait, according to a new report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who urges Baghdad to cooperate with his designated coordinator on the issue.

In a just-released report to the Security Council, the Secretary-General expresses regret that the Coordinator, Ambassador Yuli Vorontsov, has not been in a position to achieve progress "owing to the unwillingness of Iraq to cooperate with him."

The report also refutes "groundless Iraqi claims" that the Coordinator lacks impartiality. "It cannot be overemphasized that Ambassador Vorontsov is well known for his integrity, objectivity and even-handed efforts aimed at the resolution of the humanitarian issues of missing persons and stolen properties," Mr. Annan writes. "I am confident that the Coordinator will continue to exercise this approach in the future."

The Secretary-General emphasizes that Ambassador Vorontsov's efforts will not succeed "unless a substantial change of attitude on the part of the Iraqi leadership occurs." He emphasizes that cooperation between the Baghdad Government and the Coordinator would lead to "an effective dialogue that would constitute an indispensable step towards resolving the existing problems."