MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND TRADE, Australia

D13

9 February 1998

IRAQI CHARGE d'AFFAIRES CALLED IN TO DFAT

The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs called the Iraqi Charge d'Affaires to the Department on 9 February to convey the view that Iraq's continued refusal to cooperate with UNSCOM is unacceptable to the Australian Government.

UNSCOM has a clear mandate, set out in UN Security Council Resolution 687, to make on-site inspections of any locations it deems necessary in order to destroy all of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles.

Iraq's behaviour is in flagrant defiance of UN Security Council Resolutions, the rule of law and the international community. It is for the Security Council, not Iraq, to decide when UNSCOM's work is complete.

Mr Flood expressed the concern of the Australian Government at the serious escalation of tension in the region and sought Iraq's cooperation with the efforts being made to find an acceptable diplomatic solution to the current situation.

CANBERRA