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Big Ben to Baghdad

Date: 08/03/00 Peter Hain MP issued the following statement on 8 March. 
'I regret that George Galloway has decided to cancel the 'Big Ben to
Baghdad' flight. There was absolutely no need to do so. 
'My officials have worked hard with the Mariam Trust over the past couple of
months to ensure this flight went ahead. The questions which they passed to
the Trust this morning were entirely routine. The Sanctions Committee simply
requested some further details of the flight itself and the people aboard.
The flight could have been cleared today or tomorrow with agreement in New
York a formality. It should have gone ahead on schedule this weekend. 
'I renew my offer to ensure the humanitarian goods the Mariam Trust have
collected get to the people of Iraq. 
'George Galloway's decision to cancel the flight is a cynical and dishonest
manoeuvre. Many will suspect that all he ever wanted was a publicity stunt'.

Chris Doyle
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding
21 Collingham Road
London SW5 0NU
Tel: 020 7373 8414
Fax: 020 7835 2088
Mobile 07968 040 281 (under construction)
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