News Briefs II
Nuclear Powers Denounce Tests by India, PakistanThe Washington Post
The United States and the four other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council Thursday night denounced last month's nuclear tests by India and Pakistan and pledged to work to halt the arms race in South Asia, but did not adopt any concrete measures to secure cooperation from the new nuclear states.
Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and her counterparts from Russia, China, Britain and France issued a communique that "condemned" the tests, called on India and Pakistan not to repeat them and offered to help India and Pakistan resolve the issues that have divided them for 50 years.
"The whole world is asking India and Pakistan to stop, listen and think," Albright said after the meeting. "Don't rush to embrace what the rest of the planet is racing to leave behind. Don't assume that you are the only countries on Earth that are immune to miscalculation. There is no point worth making, no message worth sending, no interest worth securing that can possibly justify the risk."
The five permanent members did not specify any inducements or penalties aimed at persuading the regional rivals to embrace the meeting's conclusions. But they agreed to "provide assistance, at the request of both parties, in the development and implementation of confidence- and security-building measures." These were not spelled out, but one senior official said they could include the sharing of U.S. monitoring and surveillance capability to lessen the danger of uncertainty between the two countries, which have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947.
Arms Inspector Gives Question List on Iraqi WeaponsThe Washington Post
The chief U.N. arms inspector Thursday gave the Security Council a detailed outline of unanswered questions about Iraq's chemical, biological and missile programs.
This missing information is what council needs before it can decide whether to lift the crippling economic sanctions that Iraq has labored under since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In contrast to past reports, when the inspectors cited systematic Iraqi attempts to obstruct inspections and hide the truth about their weaponry, the council was told today that if Iraq continues its recent, more cooperative attitude, it could move very close to getting a clean bill of health by October.
"If Iraq follows (this plan), it should make the crisis much shorter," said Richard Butler, executive chairman of the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM), which has the responsibility of identifying and dismantling Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.