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DATE=7/7/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251545 TITLE=U-N / IRAQ / WEAPONS (L - ONLY) BYLINE=MAX RUSTON DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS HAS REACHED AGREEMENT WITH IRAQ TO SEND A SPECIAL TEAM OF WEAPONS EXPERTS TO BAGHDAD. THE TEAM WILL CLOSE THE LABORATORIES THERE OF THE CONTROVERSIAL U-N WEAPONS INSPECTION COMMISSION, UNSCOM. MORE FROM OUR U-N CORRESPONDENT MAX RUSTON. TEXT: U-N SPOKESMAN MANOEL DE ALMEIDA E SILVA SAYS THE FIVE-PERSON TEAM WILL LEAVE NEW YORK THURSDAY FOR BAHRAIN. IT WILL RECEIVE A BRIEFING FROM UNSCOM STAFF THERE BEFORE FLYING TO JORDAN AND TRAVELLING BY ROAD TO BAGHDAD. /// DE ALMEIDA E SILVA ACT /// THE TECHNICAL MISSION IS BEING SENT TO CLOSE THE BAGHDAD LABORATORIES OF THE U-N SPECIAL COMMISSION ON IRAQ, UNSCOM, WHICH REPORTEDLY CONTAINS DANGEROUS CHEMICALS. THE TEAM WILL BE COMPRISED OF FOUR EXPERTS FROM THE ORGANIZATION FOR THE PROHIBITION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS, O-P-C-W, AS WELL AS ONE INDEPENDENT BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS EXPERT. /// END ACT /// THE TEAM INCLUDES ONE PERSON EACH FROM SOUTH AFRICA, CHINA, RUSSIA, POLAND AND GERMANY. THE U-N SPOKESMAN SAYS THREE SENIOR FOREIGN DIPLOMATS BASED IN BAGHDAD WILL OBSERVE THE TEAM AS IT CARRIES OUT ITS WORK. UNSCOM LEFT IRAQ IN DECEMBER, WHEN BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES LAUNCHED A SERIES OF AIR STRIKES AGAINST THE COUNTRY. THOSE STRIKES WERE IN RETALIATION FOR BAGHDAD'S REFUSAL TO ABIDE BY SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS REQUIRING COOPERATION WITH THE WEAPONS INSPECTORS. IRAQ HAS NOT ALLOWED THE UNSCOM WEAPONS INSPECTORS BACK IN THE COUNTRY SINCE THAT TIME. IRAQ SAYS IT IS CONCERNED THAT UNSCOM LEFT BEHIND SOME DANGEROUS CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCES AT ITS LABORATORIES IN BAGHDAD. IT HAS ASKED FOR THE REMOVAL OF THOSE SUBSTANCES BUT REFUSED TO ALLOW UNSCOM TO PARTICIPATE. THE SECURITY COUNCIL IS CURRENTLY TRYING TO REACH A CONSENSUS ON HOW TO REVIVE THE WEAPONS INSPECTIONS IN IRAQ. THERE SEEMS TO BE AGREEMENT AMONG COUNCIL MEMBERS FOR THE CREATION OF A NEW INSPECTION COMMISSION TO REPLACE UNSCOM. BUT IRAQ SAYS IT WILL NOT COOPERATE WITH THE INSPECTIONS UNLESS SANCTIONS IMPOSED AFTER THE GULF WAR ARE FIRST EASED OR LIFTED. COUNCIL MEMBERS REMAIN DIVIDED ON THAT ISSUE. CHINA, RUSSIA AND FRANCE SUPPORT THE EASING OF SANCTIONS. BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES OPPOSE SUCH A MOVE, SAYING BAGHDAD MUST FIRST DEMONSTRATE COOPERATION ON THE INSPECTION ISSUE. (SIGNED) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF/PT 07-Jul-99 3:28 PM EDT (1928 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .