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>From todays Independent (15th April). Letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Gabriel. %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% UK lifeline for Iraqi girl with leukaemia A LABOUR MP is expected to fly out of Iraq today with a four-year-old girl who is to receive leukaemia treatment in the Britain. George Galloway,enlisted the personal help of Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, to get sanctions against the country lifted so that the child could leave. His move has not, however, attracted universal approval - with Iraqi opposition groups and a Labour MP dismissing it as a stunt. Mr Galloway, MP for Glasgow Kelvin, met Mariam Hamza last month when he visited Iraq to see the plight of sick children. When he returned he asked the Foreign Secretary to help. Mr Cook asked the British mission to the United Nations to pass details of the girl's plight to its sanctions committee, and the committee agreed to let her leave. Although this is the first time such measures have been taken to bring an Iraqi child to Britain, a dozen such children went to Austria for treatment three years ago. Mr Galloway said yesterday that Mariam would die if she was left in Iraq. "We hope to highlight the plight of thousands of children who are dying because UN sanctions will not allow medicines in to Iraq," he said. "I'm very grateful indeed to Robin Cook and the British government for their timely action in getting the UN sanctions committee to give us this permission. Without it, the aeroplane would be shot down and if we travelled by road it would be a 12-hour journey which this child is simply too sick to make. It means that we can get back to Britain and the life-saving treatment Mariam needs all the quicker." The MP and the child are expected to fly from Iraq to Jordan today, along with her grandmother, and on to London tomorrow. They will then go on to Glasgow, where Mariam will be treated at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Yorkhill. The cost, between #7,000 and #50,000, will be met by a fund set up by the MP and backed by Arab businessmen and royalty. Mr Galloway has called for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq, blaming them for the dire situation in the country's hospitals. However, the Iraqi opposition blames Saddam himself, and points out that UN sanctions do not prevent him from importing the food and medicine that is needed. Ann Clywd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley and a long-term campaigner against Saddam, said it was unfair to give the child special treatment. "Why one child? This happens to be a very pretty, very winsome-looking child. I think it's a huge propaganda coup." Nabeel Musawi, head of political liaison for the Iraqi National Congress, a group which opposes Saddam Hussein, said that the dictator, and not the sanctions, were at the root of the problem. "The only way to resolve this issue once and for all is by helping the Iraqi people to get rid of this regime," he said. Iraq Appeal THE INDEPENDENT'S Iraq Appeal has raised nearly #83,000 to help treat more than 2,000 children suffering from leukaemia believed by many to be caused by weapons used during the Gulf War. Will Day, National Director of Care International UK, one of the two charities working with The Independent said he was delighted at the generosity of readers. "As described so dramatically in Robert Fisk's article, the hospitals in Iraq have very limited resources, so the more money is raised the more supplies we can send to ease the suffering of the young children. "The first step is to work with the Ministry of Health in Baghdad and the hospitals to ensure that the most essential medicines and anti-cancer treatmentsare delivered." Please send cheques, made out to The Independent Iraq Appeal, to: PO Box No 6870, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5BT. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html