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A couple of extracts from Middle East Economic Survey : 1) "the next potential showdown between Iraq and the UN will come after the chairman of the new weapons monitoring group UNMOVIC, Hans Blix, submits his report and recommendations to the Security Council in mid-April" (MEES, 27 March 2000) 2) "In recent weeks the US has quietly begun to relax its hard line on Iraq at the UN, a hift in attitude rather than policy that is clearly reflected in two developments. The first is the implementation of a program of accelerated procedures for the approva;l of contracts for humanitarian supplies bound for Iraq (MEES, 13 and 20 March). The second is the US initiative to increase expenditures on oil spare parts in the light of the UN Secretary-General's report on the dilapidated state of the Iraqi oil industry. However, endosring an increase in expenditures is one thing and the actual arrival of more spare parts in Iraq is another, since the problem was not the amount of money available but the holds placed on contracts by the US and the UK in New York. The real measure of how committed the US is to allowing Iraq to rehabilitate its oil infrastructure will be the creation of the "quick approval" lists designating specific parts not needing authorisation from the sanctions committee. This means essentially that the sanctions committee will be delegating some of its powers to a new committee of experts, bypassing US veto, which has been the main reason for the hold-up of contracts at the UN. A committee of oil experts and dual-use specialists will be appointed to draw up these lists, and both the committee and the lists will need the approval of the sanctions committee. Since this is virtually certain to be a difficult and time-consuming process, it is unlikely that the complex issues involved will be resolved before the current (seventh) phase of oil-for-food program expires in early June" (MEES, 27 March 2000). -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi