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Hi all, If I'm not mistaken, there seems to be a clear joint strategy developing from the Magrib States towards Iraqi sanctions. In the past few days, 3 conservative or pro-Western heads of state (viz, those of Morocco, Tunisia & Mauritania) from the Maghrib have publicly called for sanctions to be ended on humanitarian grounds. I list references below. Can anyone shed any further light on this? Any ideas what's been behind the increased vocality? As for me, I see this as a very positive step. Maybe the most likely way for sanctions to end is not through direct pressure on UK/US governments but for a sufficient number of regional States to start disavowing sanctions that they can openly admit to & encourage breaking them. This would force the US & UK to claim a 'compromise deal' has been reached to save face, whilst really backing down - like the Libyan situation last year. On a broader front: has anyone produced or seen a good recent overview of Arab States' positions on sanctions? Apart from Oman, which Mashriq governments have called for an end to sanctions? If there isn't a good overview of this nature, would anyone be interested in producing one, for the CASI website? TUNISIA The French text of Ben Ali's speech on 10 May 2000: http://www.tunisieinfo.com/LeRenouveau/rn110500.pdf pp2-3; the relevant para. is towards the end of p.3. I presume the speech was originally given in French, in which case the translation below is slightly faulty. (From Iraqi sanctions Monitor; press source unknown): TUNISIA URGES END TO EMBARGO Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has called for an end to the embargoes on Libya and Iraq. Speaking at a presidential banquet in Lisbon on Tuesday night, he told Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio that sanctions on Libya should be lifted because of its cooperation in the Lockerbie trial and that the embargo on Iraq should be removed because of the suffering of the Iraqi people. "Tunisia has noted with great satisfaction the positive developments in the Lockerbie case. This requires the speeding up of the final lifting of the embargo imposed on the fraternal Libyan people so as to bolster our efforts to continue the march of the Arab Maghreb Union," he said in remarks broadcast on Wednesday by Tunisian radio. "The suffering of the fraternal Iraqi people and the deterioration of its living and health conditions are a source of grave concern for us. We call for the speedy lifting of the embargo to preserve their dignity and territorial integrity and to serve the interest of the countries and peoples of region," he said. Ben Ali also said that the Palestinians should be allowed to create their own independent state. MOROCCO & MAURITANIA Report, from Thursday 27 April http://www.map.co.ma/english/archives/2000/avril/dep24042000.htm Morocco Renews Call to Lift Embargo on Iraq TANGIER - Morocco on Wednesday renewed the call to lift the sanctions imposed on Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. "The situation in Iraq and the painful circumstances that the brotherly Iraqi people are undergoing push us to call the international community once again to put an end to the pain of this people's children and to secure them the basic rights to life, medicare and education," King Mohammed VI said at a dinner banquet, he hosted Wednesday in Tangiers in honor of visiting President Mouaouia Ould Sid Ahmed Taya of Mauritania. The Mauritanian president echoed the Sovereign's standpoint and urged for lifting the anti-Iraq sanctions. END -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi