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 Jordan Collects 600,000 Pencils for Iraqi Children 
   AMMAN, January 6 (Xinhua) -- A pro-Iraq Jordanian committee has 
collected some 600,000 pencils as donations for sanctions-hit Iraqi
children since it launched a "million pencils" campaign in 
December, committee sources said Thursday.
   The National Mobilization Committee For the Defense of Iraq, an 
independent committee representing political parties and trade 
unions in the kingdom, also decided to extend the pencil-collecting
campaign until January 18 rather than 10 as originally planned.
   The largest contribution by individuals so far came from British
Member of Parliament George Galloway, who arrived in Amman Tuesday 
and donated 10,000 pencils to the committee.
   Galloway has been lobbying extensively in the region to draw 
international attention to the sufferings of the Iraqi people under
the sweeping sanctions imposed on Baghdad by the United Nations 
after Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in the 1990 Gulf crisis.
   The nationwide pencil-collecting campaign was aimed at 
collecting 1 million pencils from all walks of live in the kingdom 
as a show of solidarity to the Iraqi people, the committee said in 
a statement.
   Jordan was sympathetic with Iraq during the Gulf crisis, but it 
has been trying to mend ties with Gulf Arab states damaged by its 
stand since the Gulf war ended in Iraq's defeat by the U.S.-led 
coalition forces.
   Meanwhile, the kingdom, which relies mainly on Iraq for free and
cheaper crude supplies, also tried to save and keep its 
traditionally friendly ties with it.
   Under the U.N. oil-for-food formula for Iraq, Jordan gets 75,000
barrels of crude oil everyday from Iraq, half as free grants and 
the rest at a preferential price.   Enditem


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