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Vote scheduled for Monday

Note the claim that :

"even if Iraq turned down the resolution, its passage would immediately
lift the cap on oil sales and allow the consideration of removing any
limit on the spare parts Iraq could import"



Friday December 10 8:52 PM ET 
UN Council Expected to Vote on Iraqi Policy Monday
by Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council renewed for six
months the Iraqi ``oil-for-food'' program on Friday and scheduled a vote
on a more crucial resolution outlining its overall policy toward Baghdad.

British ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the current council president,
said he was calling a vote for Monday afternoon on the resolution that
would restart U.N. arms inspections in Baghdad and lead to a suspension of
trade sanctions imposed more than nine years ago.

The United States and Britain had pressed for a vote on Saturday but China
said it needed further instructions, hinting it would use its veto power
to kill the draft if the meeting were not delayed.

Greenstock, however, appeared fairly certain Russia and China, who have
criticized the resolution, on Monday would not kill the draft by
exercising their veto power.

``I am confident that this is a good text and should get support from a
maximum number of council members and will be carried,'' he said.

To be adopted, a resolution in the 15-nation council needs nine votes and
no veto from the five permanent council members: the United States,
Britain, France, China and Russia. The five powers also can allow a
resolution to pass by abstaining.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright conferred on Friday by telephone
with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on the comprehensive resolution
that has been under negotiations for at least eight months.

Poker Game To Continue

U.S. envoy Peter Burleigh, acknowledging substantial differences existed,
said he expected the diplomatic poker game to continue over the weekend.

``The psychology of that is that it puts a lot of pressure on all sides
because the question is 'does one compromise further on certain issues or
not,''' Burleigh said.

Russia's U.N. ambassador, Sergei Lavrov, said the final decision would be
taken in Moscow. He criticized the text for being imprecise and said
compromises with his delegation had ''not been sufficient.''

France, which in the past had approved the draft resolution, is not sure
whether it will abstain or vote in favor. Its delegation has said
repeatedly Paris wanted compromises to bring about a positive Russian

Earlier on Friday all 15 council members, as expected, voted in favor of
the oil-for-food resolution. It permits Baghdad to sell $5.26 billion
worth of oil every six months to buy food, medicine and other goods for
its people suffering under the sanctions, imposed when Iraq invaded Kuwait
in August 1990.

Iraqi officials have said they would resume oil exports once the six-month
extension was granted. Baghdad had stopped shipping oil on Nov. 24 to
protest a two-week Security Council extension of the program on Nov. 19,
saying it needed a six-month rollover to plan properly. The council on
Dec. 3 extended the program for one more week and on Friday renewed the
plan until June 8.

The stopgap measures were an attempt by the United States and Britain to
accelerate work on the broader resolution, which would make parts of the
oil-for-food plan obsolete and would remove the cap on how much oil Iraq
could export.

Comprehensive Resolution Introduced

Greenstock formally introduced the comprehensive resolution on Friday but
said there might be further changes.

Baghdad is expected to reject the document initially and argue that the
document moves it no closer to a lifting of the sanctions, which have
ruined its economy and infrastructure and the health and lifestyles of its

But even if Iraq turned down the resolution, its passage would immediately
lift the cap on oil sales and allow the consideration of removing any
limit on the spare parts Iraq could import.

It also would streamline procedures for the importing of food, medicine,
educational materials and agricultural equipment.

The council has additionally promised to consider investments by foreign
oil companies in Iraqi oil fields -- but not until the sanctions are

Moscow has objected for weeks to the conditions that would trigger the
suspension of sanctions. Lavrov had wanted to require Iraq to show
progress in implementing key disarmament tasks rather than completing
them, as the United States and Britain want, diplomats said.

This section of the resolution was deliberately ambiguous so all sides
could agree. But diplomats said Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering
told Lavrov that Washington would only accept the hard-line

If Russia, China and France abstained, the resolution would pass but would
be weakened and signal to Iraq there was a lack of support by the
council's key members. 

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