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IRAQ AGREES TO RETURN ALL THE GOLD ITS TROOPS SEIZED

Iraq has agreed to return all the gold its troops seized during the occupation of Kuwait and arrangements were being made for the return of other stolen Kuwaiti properties, a U.N. official said Friday.

Richard Foran said an agreement has been reached by the two countries on Thursday for the return to Kuwait of 3,216 bars of gold weighing more than 1 billion ounces. He said the gold will be given back to Kuwait at Arar, a Saudi Arabian city 40 miles from the Iraqi border.Foran said Kuwait has insisted that the gold be properly weighted.

"As you know, gold is very soft," he said. "While packing it you can use an ordinary knife to skim it off, and you could end up with a few million dollars worth of gold in your pocket."

Apart from the gold, Iraq said it has $170 million in Kuwaiti dinars. Kuwait said Iraqi troops stole billions of dollars worth in gold and currencies during the 210-day occupation ending Feb. 27 when allied troops drove them out.

Kuwait also accused Iraq of confiscating 15 commercial airplanes, hundreds of millions of dollars in gold coins and paper currency as well as art work, and said the occupation force emptied entire libraries in Kuwait City.