U.S. compromises in effort to get U.N. Security Council to condemn Iraq

October 16, 1994|By New York Times News Service

UNITED NATIONS -- Determined to pass a resolution chastising Iraq for its recent threatening troop movements toward Kuwait, the United States compromised yesterday on several points to forestall a Russian veto and gain as much backing as possible among the Security Council's 15 members.

A demand that Iraq notify the secretary-general two weeks before unusual or potentially alarming troop movements has been dropped or considerably weakened, diplomats said. It was uncertain when a vote would take place.

The original proposal had been made by the British, but several countries, led by France, objected to the precedent of instituting international controls over troop movements within national borders or raised practical questions about how this would be accomplished, a Western diplomat said.

When the council convened yesterday morning, there were at least seven modifications on the table for consideration. Several apparently came from the Russian delegation.

British and U.S. diplomats said that certain elements of the resolution were not negotiable, including the demand that the Iraqis complete their troop pullback without delay and a strong ,, warning to Iraq not to redeploy troops again in a hostile manner.

The council deliberations took place against a backdrop of further reduced tensions in the Persian Gulf. Speaking in Kuwait yesterday before flying to China, Defense Secretary William J. Perry said new intelligence reports indicated that elite troops from the Iraqi Republican Guard appeared to be heading north from sites where they had been stalled, prompting threats of U.S. strikes.

Mr. Perry said that what looked liked new positions a day before were yesterday regarded as temporary encampments. "We believe they are simply encamping there waiting for transportation," he said.

While at Kuwait's airport, Mr. Perry had an unexpected encounter with Russian Foreign Minister Andrei V. Kozyrev, who has been in Baghdad and Kuwait. Mr. Perry told reporters later that Mr. Kozyrev said he had talked yesterday with Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher. Reports on Friday said the Clinton administration was annoyed with the Russians for appearing to negotiate with President Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

Although Russia's deputy chief U.N. delegate, Vasily S. Sidorov, told reporters yesterday that his delegation would prefer to vote on the resolution early this week, when Mr. Kozyrev arrives here after his Persian Gulf tour, the Russians were in the middle of negotiations yesterday.

As talks went on in New York, a U.N. nuclear weapons inspection team was in Iraq to carry out monitoring of Iraqi weapons as called for in Security Council resolutions.

The team, headed by a Briton, Garry Dillon, was planning to work in Iraq for about 10 days, a U.N. spokesman said in Bahrain.

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