Iraqi response to Annan's letter on arms inspections circulated to Security Council

Iraqi response to Annan's letter on arms inspections circulated to Security Council

Iraq's response to Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recent letter regarding the return of weapons inspectors to the country has been translated and circulated to the members of the Security Council, a United Nations spokesman said today in New York.

The six-page letter from Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, which also includes a three-page annex, was distributed to Council members on Saturday, spokesman Fred Eckhard said, adding that no date has been set to take up the matter.

The Arabic language document, which was received last Thursday, was a response to Mr. Annan's letter of 6 August, in which the Secretary-General said he looked forward to a formal Iraqi invitation to UN inspectors to return to the country.

The Iraqi letter was also transmitted over the weekend to Mr. Annan, who is vacationing in his native Ghana.

"The Secretary-General's team is studying the long text and has no comment on it at this time," Mr. Eckhard said.