Statement by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on Iraq's Acceptance of UN Weapons Inspections without Conditions

September 17, 2002

  1. On September 16 (New York time), Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri handed over to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan a letter stating that the Government of Iraq decided to allow the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq without conditions. Japan considers this recent move by Iraq a result of the efforts by the international community including Japan and the first step toward realizing the weapons inspections and the disposal of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

  2. Japan has been requesting Iraq to implement the relevant UN resolutions, including UN weapons inspections, and I reiterated this strongly at the talks with Foreign Minister Sabri of Iraq on the 14th.

  3. It is important that Iraq actually implement all the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including the immediate, unconditional and unrestricted resumption of UN weapons inspection, and the disposal of weapons of mass destruction. Japan intends to watch carefully the further development and continue necessary diplomatic efforts.

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