Annan's reply to Iraqi letter very consistent with Security Council's views - President
"The Secretary-General's letter was completely consistent with the Council's view that Iraq must comply with all outstanding Security Council resolutions," Ambassador John Negroponte of the United States told reporters.
He noted that Mr. Annan's letter, which was sent yesterday, reflected discussions held at a luncheon with Security Council members on Monday.
Characterizing those talks, he said they essentially concluded "that the roadmap to the reintroduction of inspectors in Iraq, and hence the assurance of disarmament of Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, is laid out in resolution 1284."
"It is very clear what needs to be done in order to achieve the reintroduction of inspectors," the Council President added.
Meanwhile the Secretary-General, asked about the issue when he arrived at UN Headquarters this morning, confirmed that his letter "makes it quite clear how the UN expects [Baghdad] to proceed."
The UN has not been able to conduct on-the-ground weapons inspections in Iraq since 1998. The letter from Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, received last Thursday, invited Hans Blix, the Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), to Iraq for technical discussions.