UN envoy back in Iraq for meetings on transition

The top United Nations envoy for Iraq has returned to Baghdad this week and is meeting with a wide spectrum of Iraqi political leaders and actors to see how the world body can best help the transitional process, a UN spokesman said today.Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, met yesterday with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of the United Kingdom, who is visiting Iraq, Fred Eckhard said at the daily press briefing in New York.Mr. Qazi also had one of his regular meetings this morning with Ambassador John Negroponte of the United States, he added.In other news, the Secretary-General was asked yesterday what he thought of the report on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction presented Wednesday to the US Congress. “You may recall that before [Executive Chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission Hans] Blix left here, he indicated that they had not found any evidence. So I am not surprised by that report,” he replied.As for the notion that the report gave the UN more credibility, Mr. Annan said, “I think it indicates that the inspectors had an impact. The UN inspection did what it was supposed to do.”

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