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U.N. SUSPENDS TALKS, ORDERS IRAQ TO COMPLY WITH TERMS

The Security Council, maintaining its tough stance, has refused further talks with a top Iraqi official and sent him home with orders that Baghdad comply fully with the terms of the cease-fire in the Persian Gulf war.

"In the view of the Security Council, the government of Iraq has not yet complied fully and unconditionally with those obligations, must do so and must immediately take appropriate action in this regard," Venezuelan U.N. Ambassador Diego Arria, who holds the rotating council presidency, said Thursday.Iraq and the U.N. have been at odds since the war ended a year ago on a variety of requirements made by the council on the government of President Saddam Hussein, in particular that it eliminate its weapons of mass destruction.

After two days of open debate, the 15-nation council rejected all proposals made by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz to negotiate their differences and abruptly canceled any further discussions.

Despite the rejection, Aziz said the two-day meeting was "useful" and his government intends to work with the United Nations to carry out the war obligations.

Aziz spent more than an hour Thursday answering questions put to him the day before by the ambassadors from the United States, Britain, France, India and Japan, all of whom are members of the council.

His explanations did not satisfy the council, which then accused Iraq of violating the terms of the cease-fire imposed on it after it was driven out of Kuwait in February 1991.

Aziz got a sense of the Security Council's mood when U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering concluded Thursday that Iraq was playing a "cat-and-mouse game."

"We wonder why we are still here talking about Iraq's commitments and obligations being fulfilled," Pickering said. "Once again, we want to remind Iraq that the resolutions are mandatory and that Iraq must comply in full."

For two days, Aziz delivered detailed explanations that his government has implemented provisions demanding the destruction of Iraq's nuclear-grade materials, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles.

But the council said it was not satisfied with Aziz's statements on weapons destruction and other provisions regarding the return of stolen Kuwait properties, the repatriation of detained Kuwaitis and third-country nationals and abuses of the human rights of the Kurds and Shiite Muslims in Iraq.

Aziz protested the prolonged economic sanctions imposed on his country by the council, and he asked that the sanctions be lifted, saying they imposed an unreasonable hardship on Iraqi citizens.

Aziz offered to cooperate with and fully disclose Iraq's weapons programs to U.N. inspectors and said his country is ready to resume selling oil to members of the Security Council, who can easily verify whether oil revenues would go to provide humanitarian aid.

Western diplomats have blamed the Iraqi government for the food and medicine shortages.