The Security Council this afternoon deplored as unacceptable Iraqi interference with helicopter flights operating in support of inspection of sites designated by the United Nations Special Commission on the disarmament of Iraq and underlined that Iraq must immediately take effective steps to put an end to all such actions.
Through a statement read by its President, Sergey V. Lavrov (Russian Federation), the Council expressed serious concern at the four incidents, which occurred on 4, 5, and 7 June, stating that the action by Iraqi personnel had endangered the helicopters and their crews, as well as persons on the ground.
The Council affirmed that Iraq was obliged to ensure the security of the personnel of the Special Commission and to permit it to carry out its air operations anywhere in the country without interference of any kind. It also reminded Iraq of its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the Council, in particular 1060 (1996). Among its terms, that text demanded that Iraq allow full access by the Commission's teams to all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation they wished to inspect.
In addition, the Council recalled the commitments contained in a 22 June 1996 joint statement by the Special Commission and Iraq. Among them, Iraq undertook to secure immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access by the Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to all sites they might wish to inspect in carrying out their obligations.
The Council also reiterated its continuing support to the Special Commission in its efforts to ensure the implementation of its mandate under the relevant resolutions of the Council. The Commission was established under Council resolution 687 (1991) to oversee the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and long-range ballistic missile capabilities as well as related production facilities.
Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6383 3879th Meeting (PM) 13 June 1997
In considering this issue, the Council took note of a number of letters on the matter (not yet available at press time). They included letters dated 9 and 11 June from the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission (documents S/1997/455 and S/1997/458), a 5 June letter from the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq (document S/1997/456), and a 6 June letter from the Under-Secretary of Iraq's Foreign Ministry (document S/1997/457).
The meeting, which was called to order at 4:28 p.m., was adjourned at 4:33 p.m.
Text of Statement
The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1997/33, reads as follows:
"The Security Council takes note of the letters from the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission dated 9 and 11 June 1997 (S/1997/455 and S/1997/458) and the letters from the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq dated 5 June 1997 (S/1997/456) and the letter from the Under-Secretary for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iraq dated 6 June 1997 (S/1997/457). The Council expresses serious concern at the four incidents on 4, 5 and 7 June 1997 in which Iraqi personnel unacceptably interfered with helicopter flights operating in support of inspection of sites designated by the Special Commission under Security Council resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991) and 715 (1991), endangering the helicopter and their crews, as well as person on the ground.
"The Security Council deplores these incidents and underlines that Iraq must immediately take effective steps to put an end to all such actions. The Council reminds Iraq of its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the Council, in particular resolution 1060 (1996). The Council affirms that Iraq is obliged to ensure the security of the personnel of the Special Commission and to permit the Commission to carry out its air operations anywhere in Iraq without interference of any kind in accordance with pertinent provisions of resolution 707 (1991). The Council recalls the commitments contained in the joint statement of the Special Commission and Iraq of 22 June 1996.
"The Council reiterates its continuing support to the Special Commission in its efforts to ensure the implementation of its mandate under the relevant resolutions of the Council."
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