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Three News Items from AFP

* More than one million Iraqis killed by sanctions: Iraqi health minister

* Turkey to hold trade fair in Iraq

* Iraqi lawyers appeal to Jordan to drop charges against Italian pilot


More than one million Iraqis killed by sanctions: Iraqi health minister

Monday, 10-Apr-2000 12:30PM

AMMAN, April 10 (AFP) - Iraqi Health Minister Umid Medhat Mubarak on Monday
said that more than one and a quarter million Iraqis, many of them children,
had died as a result of the almost 10-year-old UN embargo on his country.

"The mortality rate among newborn children has risen in Iraq as a result of
sanctions to 108 deaths per thousand (births) while before the embargo there
were 42 deaths only per thousand (births)," Mubarak told reporters in Amman.

He put the total death toll under the embargo at 1,294,882, saying 523,204
of them were children below the age of five.

In 1989, the year before the UN imposed sanctions, 27,334 people died in
Iraq, but in 1999 the number of deaths reached 177,483, said Mubarak, who
was speaking on the sidelines of a Jordanian-Iraqi health seminar, according
to the official news agency Petra.

The UN slapped sanctions on Iraq in 1990 after it invaded Kuwait.

The year before they were imposed Iraqi doctors carried out 151,525 major
surgical operations monthly, Mubarak said, while now the level of surgeries
has plummetted to 4,442 each month.

He also blamed sanctions for an upsurge in malnourishment which led to
premature births and the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera and
scabies which had been stamped out before 1990 in Iraq.

The Iraqi health ministry launched a five-day nationwide campaign on March
28 to vaccinate 3.5 million children under the age of five against polio.
The second stage of the campaign will begin April 25.

The World Health Organisation noted last year a surge in the numbers of
polio cases among Iraqi children and voiced fears the disease would spread.

The health ministry also reported in March that almost 10,000 Iraqis died in
February as a result of sanctions.


Turkey to hold trade fair in Iraq

Monday, 10-Apr-2000 1:10PM

BAGHDAD, April 10 (AFP) - Turkey is preparing to hold a trade fair in
Baghdad next week, with 65 companies showing food products and household
appliances, the official INA news agency reported Monday.

The fair will open on April 17 and last a week, a spokesman for the Iraqi
trade ministry told the agency.

He said Turkish firms have won contracts worth more than 477 million dollars
in the framework of the "oil for food" deal, under which the United Nations
allows Iraq to sell oil in order to pay for essential goods.

Iraq has been under strict UN sanctions since it invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Turkey says the sanctions have cost it more than 35 billion dollars in lost
earnings, and had a negative impact on its south eastern border area with

The announcement of the trade fair came despite an incursion by Turkish
troops into northern Iraq at the end of last month in an effort to flush out
bases belonging to armed rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Baghdad Thursday called on Turkey to withdraw its troops, saying it reserved
the right to respond at the appropriate time.


Iraqi lawyers appeal to Jordan to drop charges against Italian pilot

Monday, 10-Apr-2000 4:00PM

BAGHDAD, April 10 (AFP) - Iraqi lawyers Monday appealed to the Jordanian
authorities to drop charges against Italian pilot Nicola Trifani, who
violated Jordan's air space during a sanctions-busting mission to Baghdad
last week.

The lawyers' association "asks Jordan ... to close the file on Nicola
Trifani," said a statement carried by the official INA news agency.

The association also decided to send a delegation to Amman to "examine the
Italian pilot's file and cooperate with Jordanian lawyers to close the
case," it added.

Trifani, who passed through Jordanian airspace on April 3 without permission
to fly two Italians and a Frenchman to Baghdad in a show of solidarity with
the Iraqi people, was forced to land in Jordan when he entered its air space
on his way home Wednesday.

He was detained for failing to ask for authorization to pass through the
country's air space and for "causing danger to air traffic."

Trifani was allowed to leave Jordan Sunday, but Jordan still plans to try
him, an official Jordanian source said.

Jordanian officials have told AFP to expect a fine rather than a prison
sentence for him.

Iraq has been under UN sanctions since 1990, in the wake of its invasion of
Kuwait. The sanctions include a ban on all commercial flights.

However, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz insisted that the flight
had not violated UN sanctions "because nothing in the UN resolutions forbids
flights to Iraq."

France's foreign ministry agreed there was no legal grounds for an air
embargo on non-commercial traffic.

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