UN BIG FIVE NEAR APPROVAL OF AIR EMBARGO

The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council were close to agreement on a draft resolution on Sept. 18 that calls for an air embargo to enforce sanctions against Iraq. Soviet Ambassador Yuli Vorontsov told reporters: ``We are rather close and I think by the end of the week we will have it adopted.''

The resolution is expected to demand that nations cut air links by denying landing and overflight rights to planes traveling to Iraq and Kuwait.

Officials close to the talks held at France's mission to the UN said other measures might be dropped. These included French proposals for sanctions against states caught trading with Iraq, and United States suggestions to ``arrest'' ships circumventing sanctions.

The Security Council has also discussed banning foreign service companies working in Iraq. But ``we are concentrating on the air embargo,'' one diplomat said.

Mr. Vorontsov said other measures could follow if Iraq persisted in its occupation of Kuwait: ``If you look into [the UN] Charter there are lots of other things reserved for unyielding member states which are not complying with the resolutions of the Council.''

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