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* Iraq's oil export plans for 1999 (special report from REUTERS) * Naming of new UN panels on Iraq (Associated Press) * George Robertson in Kuwait: not an "arms merchant", rather a representative of the British government [interesting distinction - HG] (Arabic News) ******************** FOCUS-Iraq hopes to maintain oil exports to end '99 REUTERS: Hassan Hafidh, Baghdad newsroom +00873 762 016746 BAGHDAD, Feb 9 - Iraq hopes to maintain oil exports at 2.2-2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) to the end of 1999 and sees exports rising to 2.8 million bpd by the second quarter of 2000 if spare parts arrive in time, a senior Iraqi oil official said on Tuesday. Faleh al-Khayat, director general of planning and studies at the Oil Ministry, also said that an oil refinery bombed during December's U.S.-led air raids against Iraq was operational. ``One of the two production lines of that refinary is operational and commissioning the second line is related to circumstances,'' Khayat told Reuters. The Basra refinary was bombed by the United States and Britain after a dispute over the U.N. disarmament programme. ``What we hope is that we can maintain current production to the end of the year,'' when spare parts which Iraq has bought under the U.N. oil-for-food programme arrive, Khayat said. ``The current export capacity is more than 2.2 to 2.3 million barrels per day,'' Khayat said, adding that Iraq would be able to export 2.8 million bpd near the end of the first quarter of next year if vital spare parts for its oil industry arrived in time. He said Iraq was currently producing 2.6 to 2.7 million bpd. Iraq is allowed to export $5.26 billion of oil every six months under strict U.N. monitoring to help pay for humanitarian supplies. Low oil prices and a worn-out oil industry mean it is unable to reach that level. The amount of spare parts which have arrived in Iraq since the country began exporting crude oil in December 1996 under the oil programme, now in its fifth six-month phase, totalled only 10 million dollars, he said. Khayat said this consisted mainly of chemical requirements and pipes but Iraq needed other equipment to repair damage to its oil installations. He accused U.S. and British members of the U.N. sanctions committee of delaying contracts for spare parts, saying they had put on hold more than 100 contracts. Khayat said Iraqi exports could be increased to three million bpd a few months after the first quarter of 2000. This would take Iraq very close to its pre-Gulf War export level. He said Iraq had sent a letter to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries asking it to reduce the group's export ceiling by 1.5 million bpd and saying the whole amount should be cut by Saudi Arabia. Baghdad has recently stepped up its public criticism of Saudi Arabia, blaming OPEC's biggest producer for the deterioration in world oil prices. Khayat said Saudi Arabia was deliberately flooding the market with oil in order to suit what he termed the hostile U.S. policy against Iraq. Saudi Arabia raised its own production by more than two million bpd in 1990 when Iraqi oil exports were barred under the economic embargo imposed by the United Nations after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. ***************** New U.N. Panels on Iraq to Be Named Tuesday, February 9, 1999; 5:42 p.m. EST UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Members of three panels which will make recommendations on Iraq's future relationship with the United Nations will be named in a few days, the Security Council's president said Tuesday. Canada's U.N. Ambassador, Robert Fowler, said he met with Brazil's U.N. Ambassador, Celso Amorim, who will chair the three panels, to discuss the composition. As a first step to breaking the diplomatic impasse on Iraq that followed U.S. and British airstrikes in mid-December, the council agreed Jan. 30 to create the panels. They are expected to submit recommendations by April 15 on re-establishing an effective disarmament program in Iraq, on improving the humanitarian situation in the country, and on what to do about looted property and hundreds of people who disappeared after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The most controversial panel is the one on disarmament, which will definitely include experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the U.N. Special Commission, known as UNSCOM, which is charged with eliminating Iraq's biological and chemical weapons and long-range missiles. The panels should provide a framework for a future Iraq policy -- but the council remains deeply divided on what that policy should be. ******************** Britain's Robertson in Kuwait after Qatar, determined to contain Iraq Arabic News, Kuwait, Politics, 2/9/99 British Defense Minister George Robertson arrived in Kuwait on Monday from Qatar in the course of his tour on the Arab Gulf states. Spokesman for the British embassy in Kuwait said that Robertson will "discuss the latest developments in the region with military officials at the Kuwaiti Ali al-Salem air base." Robertson is scheduled to leave Kuwait tonight for Saudi Arabia, his third stop on the tour he started on Sunday, during which he will also visit Bahrain. Before leaving Doha, Robertson said in a press conference that the aim of his visit is to convey an important message to the leaders of the Gulf states in that "We will not give up against the danger embodied by (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein concerning the region." He stressed he is not on his tour as an "arms merchant," rather as a representative of the British government in order to convey this message. He said "We are determined to minimize the danger represented by Saddam Hussein." ******************** -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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