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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Hans Blix: No New Evidence in Baghdad Papers

Aired February 10, 2003 - 05:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We were telling you before about that videotape that we just got in from Richard Roth, our U.N. correspondent, who was talking with Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, on board a plane. Of course, he's left Baghdad now, and he's been looking over those documents provided to him by Iraqi officials.
At first, he was kind of optimistic about them, but then he just told our Richard Roth he was rather disappointed.

Let's listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Mr. Blix, your colleague, Mohamed ElBaradei, said he saw the beginning of a change of heart by Iraq. Do you share that conclusion?

HANS BLIX, CHIEF U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: I hope that's right. I think we are saying the impressions that for the first time I think there was more serious engagement of Iraq, an active engagement in the solution of central issues. And they handed us some papers, which focused upon anthrax and VX and such things, and I think that has left the focus of yesterday partly on the methods of (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ROTH: But you know the situation. I mean, a lot of people are going to say, beginning of a change of heart after eight years of inspections, and then years of trying for inspections.

BLIX: Of course, they have given in other declarations and a lot of evidence in the past, but at the end of '98 when the inspections ended, it was still felt, and they reported a number of open issues. And those are the issues that we are going up, and this was the first time I felt that we really had some (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

ROTH: But are you disappointed that they did not offer more?

BLIX: Well, I think there were some practical approaches that we did not get what we wanted, notably on the aerial surveillance. And we had to be ready to send a U-2 plane, which would be lent to us by the United States, and the Iraqis were not prepared to guarantee the safety of that plane unless we, at the same time, ask the U.S. and the U.K. to stop flying their planes in the no-fly zones.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSTELLO: All right, you were listening to U.N. correspondent, our U.N. correspondent, Richard Roth, talking to Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, on a plane. And I believe Hans Blix and Richard Roth are now heading to New York City from Athens, Greece.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com.




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