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More news

*       Iraq to print more valuable bills (Associated Press)
*       Iraq accuses UN of misusing the compensation fund (Associated
*       UN Compensation Commission on Iraq makes new payment to victims
(Arabic News)
*       Iraqi envoy talks oil with Russia (Associated Press)
*       Iraq-Iran POW issue (Associated Press)
*       Blair Sets Out Intervention Doctrine (Reuters): "The spread of
our values makes us safer," he argued, quoting John F. Kennedy's words
that "Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, who is

Iraq to Print More Valuable Bills 
Sunday, April 25, 1999; 8:23 a.m. EDT

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq plans to soon begin printing larger
denominations of its currency because the declining value of the dinar
has rendered lesser-valued bills virtually useless. Issam Hwaish,
governor of the Iraqi Central Bank, said only that the value of new
bills would be of a ``large amount.'' It was expected, however, that
they would be valued at 500 or 1,000 dinars. Hwaish was quoted Sunday by
al-Musawir al-Arabi weekly as saying that the new bills will help
stimulate Iraq's money market. They would also make it somewhat easier
for shoppers who have to carry bags full of notes to buy big-ticket
items. Economic sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait
have crippled the Iraqi economy, causing the value of the dinar to
plummet.  Iraq's largest bill now -- the 250-dinar note -- is worth only
13 cents. Before the Kuwaiti invasion, $1 bought 20 dinars on the black
market and the largest bill was the 25-dinar note. In the last few days,
the dinar has dropped to its lowest value in more than three years,
trading at 2,000 to the dollar.

Iraq Accuses U.N. of Misusing Money 
By Waiel Faleh, Associated Press Writer, Saturday, April 24, 1999; 11:51
a.m. EDT

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq suspects a U.N. committee is awarding Iraqi
money collected as compensation for Gulf War damage to ``imaginary
parties'' and has demanded details on where the money is going, news
reports said Saturday. 

The 15-nation U.N. committee was established at the end of the 1991 Gulf
War in order to compensate individuals, companies and governments for
losses stemming from Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It has
received Kuwaiti, Saudi, Israeli and other requests totaling $240
billion and has awarded $3 billion thus far. 

In March, the Geneva-based committee issued a statement expressing
concern that some governments were holding on to too much of the awards
rather than distributing them to the proper parties. 

Iraq's permanent representative in Geneva has delivered a demand to the
committee for the ``names of governments which have received
compensation and failed to forward (the money) to those who filed for
compensation,'' the official Iraqi News Agency reported Saturday. 

``Iraq is not surprised by the committee's issuance of Iraqi people's
money to imaginary parties,'' the statement said, according to INA.
``Iraq has demanded in the past to become a party in the meetings of the
committee and in the discussions of the compensation demands because it
is the party which is paying huge amounts of money without legal

The money being distributed comes from the U.N.-approved oil-for-food
deal, which allows Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil to buy food,
medicine and humanitarian supplies. Thirty percent of Iraq's oil
revenues are designated for the compensation fund. Processing all of the
requests is expected to take years.

The Iraqi statement, according to the news agency, said that if the
committee wants to ``avoid legal and ethical responsibility,'' it must
respond to Iraq's demands and ensure it complies with international law.

UN Compensation Commission on Iraq makes new payment to victims
Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 4/23/99

The United Nations Compensation Commission yesterday made a total of
$101,967,360.03 available from a 30% share of Iraqi petroleum revenues
to parties suffering losses due to the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

The Compensation Commission allocated $32.3 million for category A
recipients -- those who departed from Kuwait or Iraq. The funds, to be
divided among 12,932 successful claimants, were made available to 40
governments and three international organizations for distribution.

An additional $69.6 million was made available for 58 Governments and
three international organizations to distribute among 28,102 category C
claimants -- those who suffered individual losses of up to $100,000.

Overall compensation paid out by the commission currently stands at
$2,831,080,687.95. Payments are made when sufficient funds have
accumulated from Iraqi petroleum sales.

Iraqi Envoy Talks Oil With Russia
Saturday, April 24, 1999; 4:06 p.m. EDT

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq's oil minister traveled to Moscow on Saturday
to press Russian oil companies to honor commitments to develop Iraqi oil
fields, the official Iraqi News Agency reported.  The visit by Lt. Gen.
Amer Mohammed Rashid and a delegation of senior Iraqi oil officials is
expected to last several days, the news agency said.  The Russian
company LUKoil, together with partners Zarubezhneft and Mashinoimport,
struck a deal with Iraq in March 1997 to develop reserves in Qurna in
southern Iraq.  Potential output capacity from the field is estimated at
600,000 barrels a day.  The deal required the Russian firms to start
some of their operations in Iraq. But the Russian consortium has been
reluctant to invest in Iraq despite repeated Iraqi pleas to comply with
obligations made under the contract.  Russia was the first foreign
country to sign a deal to develop Iraqi oil fields in defiance of U.N.
trade sanctions that ban foreign investment in the country.  The
Russians are also trying to win another contract that will give them
rights to the entire Qurna oil field region in southern Iraq, Oil
Ministry officials said on condition of anonymity.

Iran Seeks Data About POWs in Iraq 
Sunday, April 25, 1999; 9:50 a.m. EDT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Iran has asked Iraq for information
about the fates of 2,806 prisoners from the 1980-88 war between the two
countries, an Iranian official said Sunday.  Iran has given documents to
Iraq and the International Committee of the Red Cross about the
prisoners in question, the Iranian news agency quoted Brig. Gen.
Abdollah Najafi as saying at a news conference Tehran, the Iranian
capital.  Najafi, who leads an Iranian commission in charge of POWs,
also said that Iraq was seeking information from Iran about 2,000 Iraqi
POWs, according to the news agency report monitored in Dubai. Last week,
Iranian Brig. Gen. Mohammad Balar, the commission's spokesman, said Iran
does not hold any more Iraqi POWs, and that Iraqi soldiers still in Iran
have refused to return home. At least 1 million people were killed or
wounded in the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, which ended a
U.N.-brokered cease-fire. Animosity, however, has persisted over the POW

Blair Sets Out Intervention Doctrine
Reuters, Friday, April 23, 1999

CHICAGO_British Prime Minister Tony Blair proclaimed a bold new
international doctrine yesterday that would justify outside military
intervention in the internal affairs of governments such as Yugoslavia
and Iraq. Setting out his "Doctrine of International Community" in a
speech to the Chicago Economic Club, Blair turned the "Brezhnev
doctrine" of the 1960s on its head, arguing that national sovereignty is
less important than human rights and preventing genocide. "Acts of
genocide can never be a purely internal matter," Blair said, citing
ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and apartheid in South Africa as examples of
threats to world peace.

He laid down five tests for intervention: "First, are we sure of our
case? . . . Second, have we exhausted all diplomatic options?" Third was
if military operations were sensible. The fourth asked if parties were
prepared for the long term. Finally, he said, national interests should
be involved. "The spread of our values makes us safer," he argued,
quoting John F. Kennedy's words that "Freedom is indivisible, and when
one man is enslaved, who is free?"


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