UN nuclear watchdog report chief hails Libyan cooperation

24 February 2004

The Director-General of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who just wrapped up a two-day trip to Libya, has hailed the country's cooperation in efforts to shed light on its former clandestine activities.

In comments to the press, which were posted on the Agency's web page today, Mohamed ElBaradei said the authorities had been helpful. "Overall I think it is going very smoothly, very well and I affirmed again [the importance of] their full cooperation, the readiness to answer all questions we have and to satisfy all technical requirements," he said.

Concerning the nuclear supply network, the Director-General pointed to the need for more information. "We are still trying to see whether other countries have received the technology, have received the weapon design, this is obviously a matter of importance," he said. "We are putting the pieces of the puzzle together and trying to understand whether there is any additional work cut out for us in the future."

He said Tripoli had been "very forthcoming" - a stance, which he added, should be emulated by others. "In a country which had been running an undeclared programme you need maximum transparency and maximum cooperation," he said. "Libya is good example so far on this score."

In another development, the IAEA today circulated its report on Iran to the Agency's member States. The report, whose distribution is restricted, reviews progress in the IAEA's verification activities in Iran since the IAEA Board of Governors last considered the issue in late November 2003. The Agency is not commenting officially on the report, which will be considered at the Board's next meetings beginning 8 March in Vienna.


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