UN Secretary-General may go on peace mission to Baghdad

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The Independent Online
SIGNS grew yesterday that the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, might make a personal eleventh-hour mission to Baghdad to try to avert a military strike against Iraq in the long-running dispute over UN arms inspections.

Mr Annan and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council were to meet in New York to seek agreement on proposals that he could take there to defuse the showdown. Mr Annan is likely to meet the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf, in Paris tomorrow.

Diplomats said the United States and Britain were prepared to support a mission by Mr Annan, provided that he was given clear "bottom-line conditions" by the Security Council.