UN nuclear watchdog chief in Washington for talks with Bush, US officials

17 March 2004

The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency is in Washington today for talks with senior officials of the United States on a range of issues, including the agency's verification of Iran's nuclear programme.

Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is scheduled to meet US President George W. Bush, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and other senior officials, a UN spokesman said.

The high-level working meetings will focus on current efforts to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

On Monday Mr. ElBaradei said Iran would accept the return of IAEA inspectors on 27 March. Over the weekend, the Agency's Board of Governors adopted a strongly worded resolution on Iran's omissions in reporting its clandestine nuclear ambitions, calling on Tehran to take a number of steps to rectify the situation. Mr. ElBaradei is due to report back to the Board on the matter in May.


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