Security Council urges Iraq to cooperate on issue of missing Kuwaitis
Expressing "deep concern" at the continuing plight of missing Kuwaitis and nationals of other countries remaining in Iraq in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf war, members of the Security Council today urged Baghdad to resume its cooperation with all bodies dealing with the issue.
In a press statement, the Council President, Ambassador Moctar Ouane of Mali, said the members expressed their unanimous support for Secretary-General Kofi Annan's High-level Coordinator, Ambassador Yuli Vorontsov, and urged Baghdad to cooperate fully with him. They also stressed the importance of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Tripartite Commission "in solving this humanitarian issue," the statement said, calling for the matter to be "resolved urgently."
"Members of the Council expressed their deep concern [over] the continuing refusal of the Iraqi Government to cooperate in returning stolen Kuwaiti properties, specifically the Kuwaiti national archives, and called upon Iraq to put an end to this issue urgently," the President said.
The statement was released after the Council held a closed-door meeting to review the Secretary-General's latest report, which stressed that over the past four months, Iraq had "continued its approach of non-cooperation with the High-level Coordinator."
The report noted that Ambassador Vorontsov remained ready to meet with Iraqi officials at any time and any place. "It is my strong conviction that a dialogue between the Government of Iraq and Ambassador Vorontsov would bring positive results in the search for a solution to the humanitarian issues with which he has been entrusted," the Secretary-General wrote.