The Security Council has committed itself to expediting humanitarian aid to Iraq, but the United States and its allies defeated an attempt to relax a stringent U.N. trade embargo on Baghdad for basic civilian needs.

A compromise statement on humanitarian aid, couched in careful diplomatic language, capped marathon weekend meetings that included the adoption of a key resolution on terms Iraq must obey before a cease-fire becomes permanent.Under the trade embargo adopted by the council Aug. 6, four days after Iraq invaded Kuwait, medicine is permitted but foodstuffs have to be approved on a case-by-case basis by the council's sanctions committee.