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'No conclusions' in weapons report.

The report of the CIA's chief weapons hunter is not expected to reach any conclusions about Iraq's alleged weapons programmes, officials at the intelligence agency say.

The officials refused to discuss what findings David Kay might include in his report, which may not be made public after it is completed.

President George Bush's administration has not announced finding any weapons of mass destruction, and US and British officials have not disclosed any finds that would validate most of their pre-war assertions about Iraq's weapons programmes. Those claims drove their case for invasion.

Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector, is the CIA adviser working with teams in Iraq to search for evidence of chemical and biological weapons, programmes to make more, and prohibited missiles and nuclear weapons programmes.

But Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he still hoped weapons of mass destruction or programmes would be found in Iraq.

Mr Straw said the fact physical evidence was "difficult to obtain" did not mean it did not exist.

There had been "overwhelming evidence" of unanswered disarmament questions before the war, he said. He also insisted the war "was and is justified".

Mr Straw was speaking from New York where he is addressing the UN General Assembly.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 25, 2003
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