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U.S. Hints at Ousting Iraq from U.N. Rights Commission

January 30, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The United States hinted strongly at Monday’s opening of the U.N. Human Rights Commission meeting here that Iraq, one of 43 member states, should be ousted from the group.

“It is appalling that Iraq should sit on this body. Our government cannot in good conscience let this awful anomaly go unmentioned,” the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Morris Abram, declared in his opening speech.

But even in light of the war in the Persian Gulf, “the question of violation of human rights in the territories” tops the U.N. body’s agenda, just as it has in recent years.

Rafael Walden, the Israeli representative, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that as in past years, Israel will keep a low profile while answering the “usual defamations.”

Jan Martenson, undersecretary-general of the Center for Human Rights, situated here, could not say at what point in its six-week meeting the commission will discuss human rights in Iraq and in Kuwait, which Iraq invaded on Aug. 2.

Ambassador Kenneth Blackwell, who heads the U.S. delegation to the commission, said, “In relation to the Middle East as a whole, the U.S. delegation will once again stress the importance and urgency of resuming a process of direct negotiations aimed at a comprehensive solution and true peace between Israel and all its neighbors.”

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