U.N. weapons inspectors accompanied by diplomats completed a two-day visit to an Iraqi presidential site satisfactorily Friday after "ironing out" problems, a senior U.N. official said.
Jayantha Dhanapala, heading a diplomatic team accompanying the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspectors, said they achieved the aims of their first visit to a presidential site in seven years of disarmament work."The purpose for which UNSCOM wanted to go in, as far as the initial visit was concerned, was achieved," Dhanapala told reporters. "They were able to gather the baseline data that they needed and they were able to fulfill their functions."
"We have completed visiting the Radwaniyah presidential site," he said. He declined to specify what problems the inspectors had. Diplomats said one issue had been clarification of perimeters but added it was settled satisfactorily.
"If there were any problems, they were resolved successfully," Dhanapala said without elaborating. "Many of them were ironed out very successfully."
The inspectors left U.N. headquarters on the outskirts of Baghdad early Friday in a convoy of about 25 U.N. vehicles heading for Radwaniyah. They returned around 11 hours later.
Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz was present during Friday's visit, Dhanapala said. Oil Minister Amir Muhammad Rasheed showed up for both days.
The Radwaniyah site is a sprawling complex by Saddam International Airport which has hosted dignitaries including King Hussein of Jordan and Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.
The eight presidential sites, where UNSCOM believes Iraq could have concealed material related to banned weapons programs, were at the center of an Iraq-U.N. row last month.
Iraq had declared the sites off-limits to UNSCOM, triggering a crisis and threats of U.S. military strikes that only receded when U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan clinched a deal to get the inspectors in accompanied by diplomats.