Baghdad signals hard line in dealing with UN

The UN arms envoy Rolf Ekeus met the Iraqi deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, yesterday to try to defuse a weapons crisis but the government signalled it would take a hard line, Reuter reports from Baghdad.

Mr Ekeus, head of the UN Special Commission (Unscom) disarming Iraq, met Mr Aziz for nearly three hours and said he would have further discussions. 'In a sense we started again,' Mr Ekeus said after the first session, indicating they had gone back to basics after his initial meeting with Muhammad Said Kazim al-Sahhaf, the Foreign Minister, on Thursday.

The official press gave no hint that the government would give way on the dispute over installing UN monitoring cameras at missile-testing sites in Iraq.

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