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Re: News: Britain backs lifting sanctions




dear friends,

what are your thoughts on this latest british proposal to 'suspend
sanctions'?

-rania 



On Wed, 16 Jun 1999, Harriet Griffin wrote:

> a.. UK backs end to Iraq sanctions (BBC Online)
>     b.. Britain: Suspend Sanctions (Associated Press)
>     c.. UN OKs Food Distribution in Iraq (Associated Press)
>     d.. Car bomb explosion in Baghdad (The Independent)
>     e.. Iraq builds new oil refinery (Arabic News)
>     f.. Iraqi opposition talks in Washington (BBC Online)
>     ********************
> 
> Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 00:14 GMT 01:14 UK 
> 
> UK backs end to Iraq sanctions 
> The British plan envisages a strict inspection regime 
> 
> The UK is putting forward new proposals to end the United Nations sanctions on Iraq, imposed 
>following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. 
> 
> In a significant turnaround aimed at breaking the impasse over Iraq, a draft British resolution 
>at the UN Security Council sets out a timetable for withdrawing the sanctions, subject to Baghdad 
>answering some questions about its weapons programme. It also calls for strict controls to prevent 
>Iraq acquiring new weapons of mass destruction. The British change of position means that only the 
>US is now completely opposed to lifting sanctions. France and Russia have long supported an early 
>suspension of sanctions. However, a US official said the British proposal, which is co-sponsored 
>by the Netherlands, is "the appropriate draft around which the Security Council can begin 
>discussion". The Security Council's five permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, 
>China and Russia - are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, and the full Security Council would be 
>presented with the proposal before the end of the week. 
> 
> Clear-cut conditions 
> 
> Many at the UN see progress on the sanctions issue as a way of getting UN weapons insepctors back 
>into Baghdad. Unscom personnel left six months ago, shortly before US and British airstrikes were 
>launched to punish Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government for failing to cooperate with 
>inspectors. The British draft says sanctions would only be suspended for 120 days after Iraq 
>completes a set of "key remaining tasks" regarding the destruction of its weapons of mass 
>destruction. After another four months, the chairman of the new Commission on Inspection and 
>Monitoring and the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency would report to the 
>council on whether Iraq had answered the disarmament tasks set out by inspectors. The suspension 
>would then be subject to renewal every 120 days, if Iraq performed satisfactorily. 
> 
> Oil-for-food discussion 
> 
> A top UN humanitarian aide will arrive in Baghdad on Wednesday to discuss the oil-for-food deal. 
>Benon Sevan, who runs the UN programme, will meet senior Iraqi government officials. 
> 
> Under the deal, which was extended in May for another six months, Iraq can sell $5.26 bn worth of 
>oil over six months to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian needs for its people. 
> 
> ********************
> 
> Britain: Suspend Iraq's Sanctions 
> 
> By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press Writer, Tuesday, June 15, 1999; 6:10 p.m. EDT 
> 
> UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- In a significant turnaround aimed at breaking the impasse over Iraq, 
>Britain is now recommending that the Security Council suspend sanctions against Iraq -- but only 
>after Baghdad answers the remaining questions about its banned weapons programs. The new British 
>position leaves the United States alone among permanent members of the Security Council in 
>opposing the suspension or lifting of sanctions. Britain is conditioning the suspension on the 
>creation of strict financial controls designed to prevent Iraq from acquiring weapons of mass 
>destruction, according to a draft resolution circulated Tuesday. 
> 
> A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington thinks the British draft, 
>cosponsored by the Netherlands, is ``the appropriate draft around which the council can begin 
>discussion.'' But the official cautioned that there were still several issues that needed to be 
>worked out. 
> 
> Russia, China and France, Iraq's allies on the council, have also proposed that sanctions be 
>suspended, but haven't placed the same tough restrictions as the British draft does. Western 
>diplomats note that the Russian, French and Chinese draft resolution doesn't require as much Iraqi 
>compliance with inspectors or carry sufficient controls on Baghdad investing in its banned weapons 
>programs.
> 
> The British draft says sanctions would only be suspended for 120 days after Iraq completes a set 
>of ``key remaining tasks'' regarding the destruction of its weapons of mass destruction. 
>Inspectors from a commission, which would replace the U.N. Special Commission but draw heavily 
>from its staff and resources, would prepare a list of those tasks 90 days after resuming 
>inspections. After another four months, the chairman of the Commission on Inspection and 
>Monitoring and the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency would report to the 
>council on whether Iraq had answered the disarmament tasks. If Iraq has cooperated fully, and if 
>financial controls were established, the council would suspend sanctions for 120 days. It would 
>continue the suspension every 120 days unless inspectors report Iraq is not cooperating. As a 
>preliminary inducement to Iraq, Britain proposes the council consider allowing foreign investment 
>in Iraq four months after inspectors return.
> 
> The Security Council's five permanent members postponed a meeting Wednesday until Thursday. 
>Formal introduction of the resolution to the full 15-member council is expected Thursday or 
>Friday. 
> 
> Inspections ground to a halt in mid-December, when the United States and Britain launched 
>airstrikes to punish Iraq for what they said was its failure to cooperate with weapons inspectors. 
>Iraq has said inspectors from the Special Commission, known as UNSCOM, cannot return and has 
>demanded sanctions be lifted entirely. Baghdad claims it is already completely disarmed. The 
>Security Council has been trying to come up with a new policy that would persuade Iraq to allow 
>weapons oversight to resume while giving its people some relief from sanctions, which were imposed 
>when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. 
> 
> ********************
> 
> UN OKs Food Distribution in Iraq 
> 
> Monday, June 14, 1999; 11:13 p.m. EDT 
> 
> UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan has approved Iraq's six-month plan to 
>distribute goods from the U.N. oil-for-food program, but stressed that food and medicine remain a 
>priority for Baghdad. Iraq submitted the distribution proposal last week, suggesting that just 
>over $3 billion from U.N.-supervised oil exports be used to buy food, medicine and other 
>humanitarian supplies, including $300 million for oil industry spare parts.
> 
> Iraq has been barred from selling its oil on the open market since the Security Council imposed 
>an oil embargo following its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Security Council launched the 
>oil-for-food program in 1996 to try to care for Iraqis suffering under the sanctions. Baghdad is 
>allowed to export $5.26 billion in oil over six months, but has only managed to export around $3 
>billion over the past year because of low oil prices and production limits. Iraq is also allowed 
>to use funds from oil sales to rebuild its infrastructure, as well as use $300 million over six 
>months to buy oil industry spare parts. 
> 
> A group of oil experts has been in Iraq for the past week as part of the preparations for a new 
>report due later this month to the Security Council on the requirements of rebuilding the oil 
>industry, which was decimated by the Gulf War and nearly nine years of sanctions. 
> 
> ********************
> 
> Bomb hits Mujahideen
> By Patrick Cockburn 
> 
> A second car bomb has exploded in Baghdad, wounding several people. The blast, on Monday evening, 
>was close to the headquarters of the Mujahideen Khalq, the Iraqi-backed Iranian resistance 
>movement. 
> 
> Six members of the Mujahideen were killed in the Iraqi capital last week, with a passer-by, when 
>a pick-up truck packed with explosives blew up beside the bus in which they were travelling. Iraq 
>and the Mujahideen, which has been based in Iraq since 1983, blamed Iran for the attack. 
> 
> Last week Iran fired four ground-to-ground missiles at a Mujahideen base north-east of Baghdad. 
>Iranian agents have previously killed Mujahideen in Iraq, but may be increasing their attacks 
>after the assasination by the Mujahideen of Lieutenant-General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, the Iranian 
>deputy joint chief of staff, in Tehran in April. The Mujahideen has also been accused of helping 
>to suppress dissent in Iraq. 
> 
> ********************
> 
> Iraq builds new oil refinery
> Arabic News, Iraq, Economics, 6/15/99
> 
> Iraqi dailies published on Monday reported that a new Iraqi refinery with a refining capacity of 
>10,000 barrels per day is being built in the southern part of the country.
> 
> The papers quoted the company's director general in the southern Iraq area, Rafed al-Dabouni, as 
>saying that the refinery will be ready for work within a few months, as most of the construction 
>works have been completed, adding that the refinery was linked to oil fields and to nearby storage 
>facilities by a new network of pipelines.
> 
> Al-Dabouni added that the refinery's products will cover the local consumption in al-Amara and 
>the neighboring cities. He added that work will also cover the development of part of al-Amara oil 
>field, adding that all construction work on the refinery is being carried out by local technicians 
>and experts.
> 
> Reports from Baghdad said that the Vietnamese Petro Vietnam is about to sign an agreement with 
>Iraq to develop al-Amara oil field at a set production capacity of 80,000 barrels every day and at 
>a total cost of US $300 million, following the lifting of sanctions on Iraq.
> 
> ********************
> 
> Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 03:33 GMT 04:33 UK 
> Iraqi opposition talks in Washington 
> 
> 
> The United States is bringing together the two main Iraqi Kurdish parties in Washington today 
>Wednesday, to try to et them to end their bitter rivalries. The Kurdistan Democratic Party and the 
>Patriotic Union of Kurdistan agreed in Washington last September to put aside their differences 
>and work towards regional elections. But the two sides have made little progress towards 
>implementing the agreement and have admitted that the regional elections, proposed for next month, 
>will have to be postponed. A BBC regional correspondent says the US is keen to unite various Iraqi 
>opposition factions against President Saddam Hussein. She says Baghdad is strongly opposed to 
>American intervention into what it regards as its internal affairs. 
> 
> ********************
> 
> 


--------
Iraq Action Coalition
http://iraqaction.org
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