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News extracts: more on international discontent with sanctions

*       Allied air raid kills two Iraqis in Nineveh (BBC)
*       More on the French position: sanctions "null and void" (Arabic
*       Turkey agitating against Western policy on Iraq (Arabic News)
*       US "does not understand" Turkey's decision to invite Tariq Aziz
(Associated Press)
*       US official: "We don't like it. It runs counter to what we want
to do." (New York Times)

BBC Online, Thursday, February 11, 1999 Published at 19:25 GMT
Air raid 'kills two Iraqis' 


The authorities in Baghdad say two Iraqis were killed in a Western air
strike on Thursday, and have said they will continue to challenge the
no-fly zones over Iraq. An Iraqi military spokesman said two civilians
died when "enemy planes" operating from Turkey bombarded anti-aircraft
artillery sites and civilian installations in northern Iraq. American
and UK planes had carried out 23 air sorties and had fired 16 bombs and
missiles at military installations, in addition to the attacks on
civilian positions, according to a statement by Iraq's Air Defence
Command. "The hostile bombardment martyred two civilians and caused
several other citizens to sustain various wounds." There has been no
independent confirmation of the Iraqi claim. US defence officials
confirmed that missiles were fired at several sites, and said damage was
still being assessed. 

Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz vowed "We will continue our struggle
against [the no-fly zones], no matter what the sacrifices and the
consequences." He said the air exclusion zones constitute "a flagrant
aggression of international law ... a flagrant disrespect to the
Security Council resolutions, and Iraq cannot accept it." 

Vedrine: Embargo on Iraq proves ineffective and harsh
Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 2/11/99

French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said on Wednesday in a statement
before the French Parliament that the embargo imposed on Iraq has proven
to be "null and void." Vedrine added that the recent French thoughts
"permit the realization of progress through lifting the embargo which
has proven today its futility and harshness and at the same time
establish a monitor system on any possible armament and any financial
revenues from lifting the embargo." Vedrine described the French
proposals submitted in January 1999 to the UN Security Council to
eliminate the Iraqi crisis as "integrated and strong." He added, "But
the UN has formulated the decisions which formed the framework to deal
with this issue, therefore we have to work within the frame of the UN
Council. And this is what we work for."
Iraq's Aziz to visit Turkey in the mid of this month
Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 2/11/99

Turkey said on Wednesday that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz
will visit Ankara for 24 hours at the beginning of next week in order to
discuss bilateral relations.An official at the Turkish Foreign Ministry
said that Tariq Aziz will arrive on February 15, "at his request."
Earlier, the Iraqi News Agency said that Tariq Aziz will visit Turkey at
the invitation of the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who had
recently criticized the "absence of a clear US policy towards Iraq."
Ecevit expressed his dissatisfaction for the possibility of establishing
a Kurdish state in northern Iraq as a result of the air embargo imposed
by the Western planes over northern Iraq under the pretext of protecting
the Kurds. Last week Turkey called for revision of principles which
govern the activity of the Western planes in the context of what is
called "the process of monitoring northern Iraq." Turkey says that
imposing sanctions on Iraq causes it losses estimated at US $30 billion.

Associated Press: US Criticizes Turkey for Iraq Visit
By Barry Schweid, AP Diplomatic Writer, Thursday, February 11, 1999;
4:28 p.m. EST


WASHINGTON (AP) -- In an unusual jab at a longtime ally, the Clinton
administration is criticizing Turkey's prime minister for inviting a top
Iraqi official to Ankara. ``We don't understand the decision to host
Tariq Aziz at this time,'' James P. Foley, the State Department's deputy
spokesman, said Thursday. ``Obviously, we will be in diplomatic contact
with the Turkish government on this matter.'' Aziz, Iraq's deputy prime
minister, is due in the Turkish capital Monday at the invitation of
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. The United States has tried to limit
economic and political contact with Iraq. Foley called NATO member
Turkey a close ally and ``valued partner'' in an international effort to
get Iraq to disarm and comply with other U.N. demands. ``We expect that
the Turkish government will make it clear to Tariq Aziz that the roots
of the current confrontation with Iraq are Baghdad's eight-year-long
refusal to meet its U.N. obligations and more recently its challenges to
the no-fly zones,'' Foley said. 

Ecevit, newly appointed as Turkey's prime minister, recently criticized
the United States for retaliating to Iraqi challenges. He said the U.S.
attacks ``seem to have gone too far'' and questioned whether all really
were in self-defense. Ecevit's criticism reflects Turkey's uneasiness
with U.S. policy on Iraq. 

>From the New York Times, 11/2/99 (writer STEPHEN KINZER)


A U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity was explicit. "We
don't like it," the diplomat said of Aziz's planned visit. "Why would
they give him sanction and access when we're trying to isolate him? It
runs counter to what we want to do." Although Turkey and the United
States are NATO allies and close political partners, differences between
their policies toward Iraq have broken into the open since Bulent Ecevit
became prime minister last month. Ecevit, a lifelong leftist and
self-proclaimed anti-imperialist, has for years expressed sympathy with
Iraq and Hussein. This month, as U.S. war planes flying from the
Incirlik base in southern Turkey have repeatedly bombed Iraqi targets,
Ecevit has begun to question their mission. "The Iraqis are zealous
supporters of their independence," Ecevit said during a televised
interview last week. "It is unclear how the American government will
reach its goals to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It doesn't seem to have
formed a policy on Iraq. It needs to plan carefully what to do about
that issue, and Turkey should contribute to those plans."

Turkey and Iraq enjoyed good relations before the Persian Gulf War.
Since the war, Turkey has lost billions of dollars as a result of trade
sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations. A national election is
scheduled here on April 18, and by inviting Iraq's second-ranking leader
to Ankara, Ecevit may be seeking to shore up his support among leftist
voters and the thousands of families along the Iraqi border who have
lost their livelihoods as a result of the U.N. sanctions. "Ecevit is
under intense criticism for sitting on the lap of the United States and
letting the Americans use the Incirlik base for bombing Iraq," Cengiz
Candar, an author and commentator who is a specialist on Middle Eastern
politics. "It runs against the image he cultivated over the years as
having a distance from the United States and sympathizing with the
plight of the Iraqi people and with Saddam. On the eve of the election
campaign, he might see that as a weak spot. He may also be hoping to use
this as a bargaining chip to get more sympathy and economic aid from

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