Iraq has freed four Germans held to deter attack, the official Iraqi New Agency reported Friday.
The four men, who were not named, left Baghdad Friday morning with a German member of parliament, it said.The speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Saadi Mahdi Saleh, told INA the release was "a gesture to show that the Iraqi people share the German people's joy at reunification."
A German diplomat told Reuters the four left on an Iraqi Airways flight to Amman with Brigitta Koegler, a former member of the East German National Assembly.
In Washington, the State Department announced it was planning to charter another Iraqi Airways jetliner next Wednesday to airlift American women and children out of Iraq and Kuwait. It was to be the 10th major U.S. evacuation flight.
There are about 350 Americans in Kuwait and another 350 in Iraq, a State Department official said. A previous estimate of between 600 to 700 Americans in Kuwait had been revised because of possibly faulty counting, the official said.
At the United Nations, U.S. and Soviet officials said Thursday that they are exploring ways to reactivate a U.N. committee to command the various military forces facing Iraq.
U.S. Assistant Secretary for International Affairs John Bolton said at a news conference with Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Petrovski, "The preferred solution here is the political and diplomatic one." But he added that there had already been two meetings of the U.N. Military Staff Committee to consider forming a U.N. command in the gulf.
Meanwhile, the debate on the Persian Gulf crisis marked time with Iraq's address to the General Assembly delayed until Friday night.
Iraqi U.N. envoy Abdul Amir al-Anbari suffered a severe nosebleed Thursday shortly before he was to have addressed the General Assembly, and his speech, already twice postponed, was rescheduled for late Friday.
Anbari, 55, who has had an exhausting workload since Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait two months ago, was taken ill while taping an Arabic-language radio broadcast in a U.N. studio, according to witnesses.
An observer familiar with the U.N. scene commented after the latest postponement, "I would have sworn it was a diplomatic illness if I hadn't seen him myself."