Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service ·
9 February 1998
SECRETARY-GENERAL POSTPONES MIDDLE EAST VISIT TO REMAIN AVAILABLE
AT HEADQUARTERS TO ADDRESS IRAQ CRISIS
Following is the text of a statement issued today, attributable to the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
In his efforts to help find a diplomatic solution to the crisis that has arisen as a result of Iraq's non-compliance with Security Council resolutions, the Secretary-General has maintained close and frequent high-level contacts with all parties involved. These include leaders of Governments and intergovernmental organizations which have sent envoys to the region, members of the Security Council, regional Governments, and the Iraqi leadership. His objective remains to help bring about a diplomatic solution while ensuring respect for the decisions of the Security Council.
Since, notwithstanding some movement in the right direction, an acceptable solution is yet to be agreed upon, he believes it is essential for him to remain available at Headquarters until the crisis has been defused. Therefore, regretfully, he has decided to postpone his visit to countries in the Middle East, which was due to commence on 11 February, and to cancel his brief preceding visit to Rome. It is his intention to reschedule the visit to the Middle East for a later date this year.
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