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Kofi Annan Confirms Iraq's Acceptance of U.N. Resolution for Unfettered Compliance
Aired November 13, 2002 - 18:10 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DOBBS: We've just -- Kofi Annan, the U.N. secretary general has just stepped before the microphones following his meeting in Washington, D.C. with President Bush. Let's listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
QUESTION: And what was the action you received from them immediately upon learning of acceptance of Iraq?
KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: Well, when the acceptance came, I was in the car on my way to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Maryland to give a speech. And so I didn't see it until I got to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) when I had it faxed to me.
ANNAN: Obviously they needed to see the letter to study it, but I did indicate that Iraq has said yes to the resolution. But the indication was that it had to be stated.
ANNAN: Iraq has said yes, and Mr. Blix and the team are going in on the 18th as planned and continue and resume actively their work.
ANNAN: First of all the resolution is mandatory and the essential thing is that they did say the inspectors can come back and that they accept -- they will deal with the resolution and the inspectors can come back. I think that is all we were looking for. The rest in scheme of things are not that important.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, do you see this acceptance for 48 hours before the deadline. Would you take this as a harbinger of good things to come?
ANNAN: Well, the inspectors will soon be on the ground and we'll (UNINTELLIGIBLE) find out. I don't want to make any predictions at this stage. But what is important is that they have said yes, and the inspectors are on their way will be on their way.
(CROSSTALK) ANNAN: I'll be leaving tomorrow morning, and we are just going touch base before we both go our different directions. And of course, we will discuss -- the letter has been sent to the council and Mr. Blix is making plans to go to Iraq on the 18th of November. That hasn't changed.
QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) message from Washington with you back to Dr. Blix this afternoon?
ANNAN: No, Blix (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from the resolution, I didn't bring any message for him.
QUESTION: Instead of sending a letter that really said yes or no, Iraq sent a nine page letter that was very harsh in tone, anti- American in places, anti-Israeli, some tough language about what it expects of inspections. Does this concern you in terms of their future compliance?
ANNAN: I think I've answered that question. I've read the letter too, but as I indicated, as far as I'm concerned they've accepted it. It's mandatory and the inspectors are going there. And we've all demanded that they cooperate, and I expect them to cooperate, and if they don't, of course, inspectors know what to do.
QUESTION: Have you received any response from the two sides of Turks and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in regard to you peace plan and what you see about the future of (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
ANNAN: No, they -- not directly from the Greek Cypriot leader or the Turkish Cypriot leader. But there has been encouraging signals or statements coming out of Ankara and Athens.
DOBBS: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a press conference following his meeting today with President Bush. This live, of course, from the United Nations building here in New York City. Kofi Annan confirming again that he judges the nine-page letter from Saddam Hussein's government to be acceptance of what he's described again as the absolute mandatory terms of the U.N. resolution for U.N. weapons inspectors. And again the secretary general confirming that Dr. Hans Blix, the leader of the U.N. weapons inspection team, will be going to Iraq Monday.
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