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From the page of MEES

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).

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