Annan meets German minister ahead of Security Council meeting on Iraq

Report
from UN News Service
Published on 19 Mar 2003
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer ahead of a Security Council meeting today to discuss key goals to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Fischer is among several Foreign Ministers who are expected to attend the open session of the 15-member body, which will hear reports from Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), and Mohamed ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on what issues remain for ridding Iraq of banned weapons of mass destruction.

Today's meeting comes after the United Kingdom, United States and Spain announced on Monday they would not pursue a vote in the Council on a draft resolution presenting Iraq with an ultimatum and said they reserved the right to take their own steps to secure that country's disarmament.

The trio of France, German and the Russian Federation, which have argued for more time for inspections to achieve the task, has circulated a proposal for setting key disarmament tasks and an implementation timetable that is "both demanding and realistic." More to follow