20/12/2001
Press Release
SC/7249



PRESS STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT OF SECURITY COUNCIL ON REPATRIATION OF KUWAITI,


THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS AND RETURN OF KUWAITI PROPERTIES


Following is the text of today’s press statement by the President of the Security Council, Moctar Ouane (Mali) on the Secretary-General’s report on the repatriation of Kuwaitis and third-country nationals and the return of Kuwaiti properties:


Members of the Security Council reviewed the latest report of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Coordinator, pursuant to paragraph 14 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999), regarding repatriation of Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and the return of Kuwaiti properties.  The Council once again expressed their unanimous support for the work of Ambassador Vorontsov and for his efforts in following these two issues.


Members of the Council expressed their deep concern at the continuing plight of the Kuwaiti and third-country nationals still remaining in Iraq and expressed their sympathy with their families.  Members of the Council expressed their hope that this issue would continue to be dealt with as a strictly humanitarian one by all sides concerned and be resolved urgently.


Members of the Council shared the view of the Secretary-General which was reflected in this report, and urged the Iraqi Government to abandon its stance of declaring no knowledge of the whereabouts and fate of the Kuwaiti and third-country nationals.  Members of the Council stressed the importance of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Tripartite Commission in solving this humanitarian issue, and urged the Iraqi Government to resume its participation with all bodies dealing with this issue.


Members of the Council expressed their deep concern at the continuing refusal of the Iraqi Government to cooperate in returning stolen Kuwaiti properties, specifically the Kuwaiti national archives, and called upon Iraq to put an end to this issue urgently.


Members of the Security Council urged Iraq to cooperate fully with Ambassador Vorontsov in fulfilling his mandate.


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