Annan sees progress on Iraq's return of stolen Kuwaiti property but urges more action

Annan sees progress on Iraq's return of stolen Kuwaiti property but urges more action

Recent months have witnessed advances in the return of property stolen by Iraq during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, but more must be done for Baghdad to meet its international obligations on this front, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report to the Security Council.

Recent months have witnessed advances in the return of property stolen by Iraq during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, but more must be done for Baghdad to meet its international obligations on this front, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report to the Security Council.

Iraq has given back a first batch of documents from the Kuwaiti national archives, and a practical mechanism for the return of other property has been re-established, the Secretary-General notes, appealing to the Iraqi authorities "to redouble their efforts aimed at the return of remaining Kuwaiti property without delay."

Mr. Annan reports "limited" progress on the repatriation of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals or their remains, but adds that there are "some new positive elements." Iraqi officials are now meeting with the UN coordinator on the issue, Yuli Vorontsov. In addition, Baghdad recently informed the League of Arab States of its intention to resume participation in the Technical Subcommittee of the Tripartite Commission set up to deal with the matter.

Most recently, Iraq's Ambassador to the UN last week wrote to Ambassador Vorontsov inviting him to Baghdad. Commenting on this development, the Secretary-General voices hope that it marks "the beginning of a process which would eventually enable me to report more substantive progress in the near future" and urges Iraq's full cooperation.