Baghdad Iraq News Agency [INA] 1000 GMT 16 Apr 1998

President Saddam Husayn has chaired a joint meeting of the Revolution Command Council [RCC] and the Iraq Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party.

The conferees discussed a number of political issues, led by the legitimate Iraqi demand that the blockade be lifted, starting with the implementation of Paragraph 22 of Resolution 687.

The conferees discussed in depth, responsibly, and comprehensively the unjust blockade imposed on our great mujahid people for eight years under the influence of arrogant, evil forces and biased parties whose malicious souls are so filled with evil that they have lost any ability to see the right path. The conferees reviewed and deeply considered all the lessons of the relationship with the UN Security Council and Special Commission. They also reviewed the great extent of harm being done to our people- -women and men, elderly and children as a result of the blockade and the chaste souls that have perished in these hard times. Thus, it has been decided that we will urge the security council and all forces and figures in the world, including the good forces among all mankind and in cur nation, and to sound the alarm that it is pointless for Iraq and the Iraqis to be patient just for the criminals to play for extra time on this issue, which is so crucial to our people.

If the relationship between Iraq and the Security Council is required to be balanced and continue on a sound basis, then it will be time for discussion of the embargo at the end of April to lead to the immediate and undelayed implementation of Paragraph 22 of Resolution 687 as a prelude to the complete and comprehensive lifting of the embargo and all things that come with it, especially since the recent lies of those with certain ambitions have been exposed. They claimed that guest houses and the presidential palaces- -which are the homes of the people- contained banned weapons and plants. The lifting of the embargo would be in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.

Only those with evil ambitions will stand guilty of the deaths of our people, whose lives were taken away under the embargo and the military operations that were launched under a well-known cover. If they oppose the lifting of the embargo, they--and they alone--will carry the burden of the previous crises as well as the crises to come and for any harm inflicted on our people.

God is great, God is great may the lowly be cursed.

The meeting was attended by the chief of the presidential office the foreign minister, and the minister of culture and information.