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NEWS 10-17/9/00 Sorry there's so much of it, but it all seems to me very interesting and pretty sinister - PB * UN asked to sue Western suppliers of chemical weapons to Iraq * Iraqi diplomat lauds Iran's detente policy * French non- governmental organizations fight to rent a plane to head for Iraq * Kurdish official says Iraq amassing troops near Kurdish region * The Turkish water projects on the Tigris and Euphrates * Kuwait to discuss Iraq war fines with France * Change of heart by Iraq would end sanctions (remarks by P.Hain) * Iraqi paper terms Opec decision as US conspiracy * Albright Bashes Iraq in U.N. Speech * Report: Iraq Civilians Get More Food * Iraqi paper condemns Saudi arms purchase from U.S. * Iraq says it discovered mass graves on the border * Russia in new push to lift Iraq sanctions * ICRC team expected in Tehran to clarify the status of PoWs * Iraq allows establishing private insurance companies * Iraqi Kurdish faction to withdraw militias * Unlikely Foe Of Iraq Policy Tells Why [interview with Ritter] * Child Malnutrition Plagues Iraq * Kuwait says Iraq wants war, calls for Arab stand * Iraq to boycott Jordanian firms doing business with Israel * U.S.: Iraq Violates Saudi Air Space * Iraq, Russia To Resume Flights * Reports of Iraqi Missile Threat Are Greatly Exaggerated [by Scott Ritter] * Iraq considers EURO instead of dollars in trade dealings * Kuwait oil minister says OPEC fed up with Iraq * Remarks by Archbishop Carey in New York * Iraq: vice-president and Congo envoy discuss ties, cooperation * Oil minister tells symposium USA planned to weaken OPEC with Saudi help * Iraqi Foes To Receive Aid * Shi'ite group opposes U.S. aid to Iraqi opposition * Iraqi prelate calls for end to sanctions: Archbishop Kassab visits Cardinal Keeler * Iraq sanctions 'cruel, outdated,' says Vedrine * Egypt urges efforts to end UN sanctions on Iraq * Iraq Boosts Military Training * Pentagon trying to incriminate Iraq * US planes hit radar station in Iraq: Pentagon * Former Japanese defense chief meets Iraqi speaker IN THE SUPPLEMENT * Souk in a Slump: A century-old institution, Baghdad's copper market fading away * Saddam urges nuclear scientists to support military in defeating enemies * Throwing our weight about Sierra Leone: A personal view by Seumas Milne [Guardian. It refers to Iraq but raises the whole question of Britain's colonial past] * Turkish dam 'will rob 70,000 of their homes' * US judge defers decision. Ruling on Surasaknow set for Oct 23 [Bangkok Post a strange little story about 'conspiracy' to buy oil from Iraq] * Iraq after Saddam [nasty little piece of American fantasising] * Oil prices: between Iraq and a hard place [interesting article in Irish Independent] * From a Rival With a Smile, Words to U.S. Are: En Garde [about Hubert Védrine] http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/21202349.htm * UN ASKED TO SUE WESTERN SUPPLIERS OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO IRAQ Tehran, Sept 11, IRNA -- Secretary of the Society Advocating Victimsof Chemical Weapons in Iran Mohammad Hassan Maleki on Monday strongly condemned the inaction of the international community to bring to justice the Western firms which helped Iraq manufacture chemicalweapons in its imposed war on Iran in 1980s. Forwarding a letter to Representative of the United Nations to Iran, Maleki said in the past six months at least 20 war veterans wounded by chemical weapons have succumbed to their injuries. The letter, a copy of which was made available to IRNA questioned,"If the victims had been from Western countries, would the international community have exercised the same inaction and wouldnot have sued the Western companies which helped Iraq produce chemicalweapons." Maleki said those affected by the chemical weapons have passed twodecades of sufferings and have gradually succumbed to their wounds. "What is the answer of the International Community to these crimes," Maleki asked the UN representative in his letter. http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/21200939.htm * IRAQI DIPLOMAT LAUDS IRAN'S DETENTE POLICY Tehran, Sept 11, IRNA -- Iraqi Charge d'Affaires to Iran Abdul-Sattar al-Rawi Monday praised Iran's detente policy and its contribution tostrengthening regional and international security .In a meeting with Majlis Speaker Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Karroubi,al-Rawi said Iran has called for solidarity with the Islamic states which is an example of its successful diplomacy.He said developing parliamentary relations is a good avenue for building confidence among governments and hoped that exchange ofparliamentary groups between Iran and Iraq would help create an atmosphere of confidence. He offered congratulation to Karroubi on his election to Majlis speaker and said that the Baghdad government is willing to settle the dispute between the two countries and develop relations in allareas.Mr. Karroubi said the Islamic Republic of Iran is willing to develop relations with all Islamic states and neighboring countries in particular. He said grounds should be prepared to remove the obstacles in the way of promoting Iran-Iraq relations.Karroubi said the two countries ranking officials are requiredto display resolve to settle the disputes concerning bilateralrelations and take practical step in this respect.He said exchange of visits between officials and developing parliamentary relations would help remove the obstacles to Iran-Iraq relations. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000911/2000091105.html * FRENCH NON- GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS FIGHT TO RENT A PLANE TO HEAD FOR IRAQ (ArabicNews.Com, 11th Sept) French non governmental societies and organizations which want to break the embargo imposed on the civil aviation flight to Iraq, have been launching a difficult battle with airlines companies in order to be able to rent a plane, that can be used by their representatives for Iraq. And these difficulties are still persisting despite the positive stand of the French government. Two months after these organizations announced determination to break the air embargo on Iraq, the organizers have failed to rent a plane for this purpose. The secretary general for the French- Iraqi friendship society jeil Monieh said on Friday " we are making now negotiations with three private airline companies in West Europe and Russia. Monieh explained that the contacts which had started since last June with the French and European airlines indicate that there are pressures exerted on these companies in order not to comply " to our request," adding " I think certain sides at the US embassy in Paris are not far from these maneuvers ( of pressuring the airline companies ). http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=000911002409&query =Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * KURDISH OFFICIAL SAYS IRAQ AMASSING TROOPS NEAR KURDISH REGION (Radio Monte Carlo - Middle East, Paris, in Arabic/BBC Monitoring Service, Sep 11) [Murad] For some time now, there have been troop concentrations at the southern areas administered by the PUK [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan]. There are gatherings south of Kifri and Chamchamal and close to Kirkuk. These forces are comprised of around 800 pieces of equipment, including personnel carriers and an infantry division. These forces belong to the 12th Division of the Republican Guards. We believe that the Iraqi regime is trying to invade the area in order to create tension. The Kurdish administration is properly implementing Security Council Resolution 986, that is the oil-for-food programme. Food and medicine are being distributed by the administrative organs among the citizens in the area. [Shamiyah] Can you tell us about any direct threats that you received in the areas? [A] Yes, Iraqi officials, particularly Mr Qusay, son of the Iraqi president, made his threats in an open speech on the occasion of the 31st of August and said that he is gathering his forces to invade the region and destroy, as he put it, the sources of treason and disloyalty in the Kurdish areas. However, it is worth mentioning that the organizations that are working here deal with Baghdad and come and go out of Iraq through Baghdad. They also come to our region by way of Baghdad. They are organizations that belong to the United Nations. [Q] Do the Iraqis not fear a reaction by the United States? [A] A few days ago, the Americans announced that they will repulse any Iraqi attack on the Kurdish area. Previously, [word indistinct] announced that there are red lines for the Iraqi regime, such as Kuwait, not attacking the neighbouring countries, and not attacking the Kurdish area. We believe that if the Iraqi army thinks of invading the area [changes thought], or that the Iraqi army might exploit the US elections to carry out an attack. I believe that the Iraqi army will face an excellent resistance by the fighters and the area's people, because they do not want to go back to the dark period, which preceded 1990. The Kurds are managing their own affairs and there is a local Kurdish government. This is a good opportunity to declare that this government or this area, which we call the federal area, is part of Iraq and we will not call for seceding from Iraq. [Q] Why the Al-Sulaymaniyah? Does this area come under the international and US protection? [A] No, the No-Fly Zones do not cover Al-Sulaymaniyah. They extend to five km south of Irbil. The Al-Sulaymaniyah falls south of this line. [Q] You spoke of the resistance mounted by the Kurdish people and the people of the area against the Iraqi army. However, the question was about the US reaction. [A] Of course, the Americans let the Kurdish people down on the morning of 31st August 1996, when the Iraqi forces invaded the city of Arbil, which was the only Kurdish capital and which was under the control of the PUK. They threw us out in cooperation with the forces of Mas'ud Barzani [leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party] and the Americans did not do anything. The US reaction was confined to targeting several Iraqi bases in the south of Iraq and not in the Kurdish area. Therefore, the Kurds and the PUK rely completely on their own forces and not on outside forces for their defence... http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000911/2000091106.html * THE TURKISH WATER PROJECTS ON THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES (11th Sept) The London- based al-Quds al-Arabi daily said in its Friday's issue that the Turkish water projects on the Tigris and the Euphrates which count 21 dams and 19 electricity generation stations besides irrigation infrastructure estimated at US $ 32 billion will affect the water flow of the Euphrates river and consequently will have an adverse impact on the economics of the river's basin especially on Syria and Iraq. In an article written by Salah Taha, the paper added that Turkey's implementation of these projects indicates that it wants to control the waters of the region through imposing its conditions on those who use this water, especially in the coming decades when waters will much more valuable than oil. The paper said that Turkey's desire to impose full hegemony on the Euphrates river as its waters is a natural Turkish resource of no less importance than the oil owned by the majority of the Arab states. A hegemony which is a flagrant violation to the International law over waters of international rivers as well as a violation to the rights of others in their fair shares of waters. http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDI12/SDI12318.htm * KUWAIT TO DISCUSS IRAQ WAR FINES WITH FRANCE (Business Recorder) KUWAIT (September 12) :: Kuwait's oil minister will fly to Paris this week to discuss delays by France and Russia in processing a $21.5 billion claim by the Gulf Arab state against former occupier Iraq, sources said on Monday. Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah, who is currently in Vienna attending an Opec meeting, will fly to Paris with a message from the Kuwaiti leadership to French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin dealing with delays in 1991 Gulf War claims. The United Nations Gulf War reparations body has delayed action twice on Kuwait's $21.5 billion claim for oil destroyed by Iraq during its seven-month occupation. The body's Governing Council, made up of the 15 members of the UN Security Council, is due to meet again in September in Geneva to reconsider the claim and whether to award Kuwait $15.9 billion, a figure recommended by independent arbitrators. The French and Russian delegations were behind the delays of the claim filed against Iraq at the UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) in Geneva. Sources said they expected the Kuwaiti minister to visit Paris on Tuesday and return home on Thursday or Friday. It was not immediately clear if he would also touch upon a declared desire to enter the French downstream oil market, an issue which he has discussed in recent months with French officials. The Opec member has a wide downstream network overseas, including road-side fuel stations and refineries in Western Europe.-Reuters http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDI12/SDI12382.htm * CHANGE OF HEART BY IRAQ WOULD END SANCTIONS (Business Recorder) LONDON (September 12) : British junior foreign minister Peter Hain said on Monday that if Iraq changed its mind and agreed to new weapons inspections, UN sanctions could be suspended as early as next March. Baghdad is under United Nations' trade sanctions following its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The so-called oil-for-food sanctions allow Iraq to sell oil in order to purchase food, medicines and other humanitarian goods. In December the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1284 which offers an easing of sanctions provided Baghdad allows UN weapons inspectors to return to Baghdad. "Essentially resolution 1284 allows for sanctions to be suspended in return for a new arms inspection team under Dr Hans Blix to go into Iraq. If Saddam Hussein signed up to it now sanctions could be suspended by next March," Foreign Office junior minister Hain said at a news conference. "This is a win-win-win situation: UN inspectors return, Iraqi people get relief and Iraq's neighbours feel safer with Saddam's weapons under control," he added. UN experts seeking to track down and destroy Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction were withdrawn in December 1998. The United States and Britain then launched a four-day bombing campaign prompted by Iraq's refusal to co-operate with the arms team. Baghdad said the previous arms inspectors were working for Israeli and US intelligence and insisted it had co-operated fully in the destruction of its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has refused to accept 1284 which set up a new arms inspection body called the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC). The oil-for-food sanctions have come under attack on humanitarian grounds with the Vatican saying the sanctions harm children and the sick. But Hain denied that the sanctions were responsible for widespread suffering in the country. Resolution 1284 had already abolished the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports, Hain said, adding that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the suffering among the Iraqi people. "With the sums of money now available, any suffering is not the result of sanctions but the responsibility of Saddam Hussein," he said in a statement. Hain said that Iraq's oil revenues were at an all-time high at around $20 billion and that more than $14 billion would be available to spend on humanitarian goods and infrastructure development. He alleged that Iraq had not distributed a quarter of the medical goods it had received since oil-for-food began in December 1996. Last week Iraq's health authorities accused US and British officials of delaying the purchase of measles vaccine for a nation-wide immunisation project to reduce soaring child mortality rates.-Reuters http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDI12/SDI12247.htm * IRAQI PAPER TERMS OPEC DECISION AS US CONSPIRACY (Business Recorder) BAGHDAD (September 12) : Iraq's most influential newspaper on Monday condemned as a US "conspiracy" the Opec decision to raise oil supplies by 800,000 barrels daily, saying Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were also to blame. "Saudi Arabia and Kuwait along with America are the key states which implemented the American conspiracy against oil," Babel, owned by President Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, said in a front-page editorial. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Sunday in the Austrian capital Vienna to lift output by 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), slightly above pre-meeting expectations of 700,000 bpd. The rise of just over three percent brings official total group production to 26.2 million bpd for 10 members, excluding Iraq. Baghdad remains under United Nations' sanctions following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Opec member Iraq is one of the strongest opponents of Opec increasing output. "The increase of Opec production came as an execution of the will of (President Bill) Clinton," the paper said. Babel said the output increase reflected "the act of sabotage that Saudi Arabia is adopting within Opec and the blackmail that Washington is practising against oil producing countries". Oil prices moved lower early on Monday, but resisted a steeper fall despite the Opec pact, which hikes output for the third time since April to quell a rally to post-Gulf War highs. Opec's pact, struck in less than a day of discussions between energy ministers, will be reviewed at an extraordinary meeting on November 12. Crude may not fall enough on Opec Japan oil chief--Reuters http://www.iraqdaily.com/?action=display&article=3497847&template=iraq/index .txt&index=recent * ALBRIGHT BASHES IRAQ IN U.N. SPEECH UNITED NATIONS (Associated Press, 12 Sep) ‹ In a measured farewell speech to the United Nations, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged sometimes hesitant nations to "stand up to the campaign launched by Baghdad against the U.N.'s authority and international law.'' After four years as U.S. ambassador to the world body, and now nearing the end of four years as Secretary of State, Albright called for a larger peacekeeping staff and said she was alarmed by the deepening gap between rich and poor. She saluted U.N. programs that cut waste and said a new inspector general's office was responsible for saving tens of millions of dollars. But balanced against the good news, Albright said Tuesday she was grieved by the conflicts that still rage around the world and widespread denial of basic rights and freedoms. Singling out repression in Burma, Albright said "we must not be silent.'' However, Albright told the U.N. Millennium Assembly at the start of a two-week debate that "by working together, within and outside this organization, we can move together, step by step toward the lofty goals we have set. And thereby bring about a world more peaceful, prosperous and free than it has ever been.'' Her harshest remarks were reserved for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, for defying U.N. inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction. She said Iraq's strategy was to ignore its obligations as a U.N. member ``and seek to preserve at all costs its capacity to produce the deadliest weapons humanity has ever know.'' Then, at a news conference, she vigorously dismissed as "Alice in Wonderland'' contentions by religious groups and others that U.S.-engineered sanctions were starving the Iraqi people. Albright said Iraq was pumping all the oil it could and that the revenue provided ``caloric intake'' for Iraqi children that was higher than before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. Denouncing Saddam as "the real villain,'' Albright said he"can pick up the key to let him out of sanctions'' by admitting the inspection group headed by diplomat Hans Blix. Albright did not directly threaten an attack on Iraq if it did not submit, but she said ``we have our red lines; we have made that clear.'' Albright's connection to the United Nations goes back to her childhood, when her father, Czech diplomat Josef Korbel, was assigned here. "I have always considered myself a child of the U.N.,'' she said. In her four years as ambassador she championed an activist approach by the world body, and then, as Secretary of State, pushed for holding perpetrators of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans and Rwanda accountable. Above all, she took a hard line against Baghdad, and labored to rally sometimes hesitant nations, including ally France and also Russia, to join the United States and Britain against the regime. "When international norms are assaulted,'' she said, "the U.N. must do more than simply observe injustice, or report upon it, or sympathize with the victims. We must do all we can where we can to stop the perpetrators.'' http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=3491828&template=iraq/index .txt&index=recent * REPORT: IRAQ CIVILIANS GET MORE FOOD UNITED NATIONS (Associated Press, Tue 12 Sep) ‹ Iraqi officials have refused to cooperate with an investigation of the humanitarian situation in the country, which is suffering under the weight of a decade of U.N. sanctions, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said. In a report Monday on the U.N. oil-for-food aid program in Iraq, Annan said Iraqi officials have considerably increased the amount of food getting to ordinary people through the aid program. But, he said, the government has indicated it has no plans to cooperate with a panel of experts charged with making a comprehensive report on the overall humanitarian situation there. Iraq's allies on the U.N. Security Council, particularly Russia and France, had pressed the council to request such a report in June. They said it was a way to highlight what many aid groups say are the devastating effects that 10 years of sanctions have had on the Iraqi people. Iraq has been under strict U.N. sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Sanctions can be lifted after U.N. weapons inspectors report that Baghdad is free of its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq is barred from selling its oil on the open market under the sanctions. But under the oil for-food program, the country can sell some oil to buy food, medicine and other goods for its people. Fearing some of the purchases could be used to make new weapons, Washington often blocks Iraqi oil contracts or puts them on hold while U.S. officials review them to ensure they cannot be used for military purposes. Annan has repeatedly urged the United States and Britain, to a lesser extent, to release the contracts so badly needed equipment can reach Iraq, particularly oil spare parts needed to improve the oil production industry. In his report Monday, Annan pointed to the $1.5 billion worth of contracts that remain held up in the U.N. committee that monitors sanctions against Iraq. While noting the ``commendable efforts'' to release some of the contracts, the secretary-general again expressed concern at the volume and value of the goods still tied up. Also Monday, Annan welcomed Iraq's decision to ``increase considerably'' food and health sector allocations in the most recent distribution plan. Annan has repeatedly urged the Iraqis to give priority to food and health items in its distribution plan of proceeds from the oil sales to help combat the malnutrition suffered by Iraqis, particularly children. In the past, Baghdad has chosen to spend some of its money on other items, including oil spare parts and telecommunications equipment. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/09/12/iraq.saudi.reut/index.html * IRAQI PAPER CONDEMNS SAUDI ARMS PURCHASE FROM U.S. BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters,September 12) -- An influential Iraqi newspaper on Tuesday condemned Saudi Arabia an arms purchase from the United States, saying there was no threat to justify spending large amounts on defense. Riyadh is seeking $2.7 billion in U.S. arms and technical support to help modernize its National Guard and maintain a fleet of U.S.-made F-15 fighter jets, the Pentagon said last week. One of the three packages requested by the Gulf kingdom would include $416 million in vehicles, missiles and communications equipment built by General Motors Corp. and Raytheon Corp., the Pentagon said. Another valued at $690 million would involve parts, maintenance, training and modification facilities for the large Satudi fleet of F-15 jets built by Boeing Co. The prime contractor for that would be Al-Salam Aircraft Co., which is 50 percent owned by Boeing. "Is there a real need for a state like Saudi Arabia which is not threatened by anyone to spend that unbelievable amount of money?" Babel newspaper, owned by President Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, asked. "America is looting Saudi money through selling out-dated weapons to them," the newspaper said. Iraq has accused Saudi Arabia in recent weeks of participating in patrols of Western warplanes over Iraqi skies. U.S. and British planes based in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait patrol a no-fly zone over southern Iraq, set up after a U.S.-led force evicted Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991. "The question is what for all these weapons as the Saudi regime allows the aggressors to use its territory, military bases and ports to launch daily aggression against Iraq," the newspaper said. The U.S. Defense Department said the prime contractor had not yet been determined for the biggest of the three Saudi packages, valued at $1.6 billion for flight simulators, parts and technical services for Royal Saudi Air Force F-15s. http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=117104 * IRAQ SAYS IT DISCOVERED MASS GRAVES ON THE BORDER by GHASSAN al-KADI BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- An Iraqi government-run newspaper said Tuesday that mass graves of Iraqi soldiers killed during the 1991 Gulf war were discovered near the border with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Al Joumhuriya newspaper identified the soldiers as members of a unit to preserve the environment. It said the soldiers were buried alive in their military uniforms. Their identification papers were found in bottles near their remains. Al Joumhuriya quoted Iraqi farmers in the region as accusing U.S. and British forces as well as their "agents who belong to the Kuwaiti and Saudi regimes" of having carried out such "a cowardly operation" during the withdrawal of the Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The farmers said the U.S. and British forces sent paratroopers and military vehicles to attack the soldiers, and then buried them alive in mass graves. The newspaper said the Committee for Preserving the Environment in the district of Basra, 340 miles (550 km) south of Baghdad, started with the help of the farmers searching operations to locate other possible mass graves. Iraq has previously accused U.S. and British forces of burying alive a number of Iraqi soldiers. Baghdad announced shortly after the Gulf War that it had discovered mass graves in the southern region of the country. http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3Q4RR12DC&liv e=true&tagid=ZZZINS5VA0C&subheading=middle%20east%20and%20africa * RUSSIA IN NEW PUSH TO LIFT IRAQ SANCTIONS (Financial Times, 13 Sept)) by Carola Hoyos, United Nations correspondent Russia is stepping up the pressure for a lifting of United Nations sanctions on Iraq, arguing that it has lost more than $30bn in business since the embargo was imposed 10 years ago. In a recent letter to Kofi Annan, UN secretary general, Igor Ivanov, Russia's foreign minister, complained that the government was coming under increasing pressure from the "federal assembly, many social and political interests, and business and industrial circles . . .in favour of mitigating the limitations imposed on Russia by the sanctions in the field of its commercial and economic relations with Iraq." The Russian letter underlines deepening divisions in the UN Security Council over Iraqi policy. Jacques Chirac, France's president, last week made clear his disapproval of the ongoing sanctions. "We have never been in breach of the UN sanctions, even though we consider this sanctions policy is dangerous, inhuman and inappropriate," he said. The Russian and French positions are giving Iraq hope that the sanctions, if not lifted, will soon become meaningless. In an interview with the FT, Tariq Aziz, Iraq's deputy prime minister, said the Russian letter proved that Iraq's trading partners were growing increasingly impatient with the embargo. "People are feeling that enough is enough and they are acting in order not only to be fair to Iraq but also to protect their own interests," he said. "Iraq's practically becoming more like Cuba vis a vis the US . . .everyone else is trading with Cuba, this is going to be the future of the matter." Last December, the Security Council tried to maintain a semblance of unity by passing a new resolution calling on Iraq to allow the return of UN weapons inspectors and promising to suspend the sanctions once they verified that Baghdad had destroyed its key remaining weapons of mass destruction. Now that a new inspection agency has been formed but Iraq is refusing to accept the resolution, Security Council splits on policy towards Iraq are becoming more apparent, with the US maintaining a hard line against concessions to Baghdad. "People supported [resolution] 1284 as a way forward, there has not been much movement and people are getting iffy about 1284," one diplomat said. He added that once Iraq accepted the resolution, Russia and France likely would "get back on board". The UK, which along with Russia, France, the US and China is one of the permanent members of the Security Council, is trying to salvage the resolution, of which it was a principal author. UK officials in New York have talked to several Arab leaders in the hope of rekindling dialogue with Iraq. But Mr Aziz, who met six of his regional counterparts over the weekend, said that there had been no progress. "The foreign ministers who show goodwill don't have any power," Mr Aziz said, adding that he saw no prospect for negotiations until Washington showed some sign of changing its policy to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Iraq's president. Mr Aziz, who is in New York after attending the UN's millennium summit, said he had no intention of meeting Hans Blix, the head of the new UN weapons inspections agency. Iraq and members of the Security Council for now seem to be in agreement on at least one substantive issue - to avoid any escalation of hostilities over the stalemate. http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/22192028.htm * ICRC TEAM EXPECTED IN TEHRAN TO CLARIFY THE STATUS OF POWS Noshahr, Mazandran province, Sept 12, IRNA Head of the Commissionfor Prisoners of War (PoWs) and the Missing-in-Action (MiAs) BrigadierGeneral Abdullah Najafi said here on Tuesday that a group from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will arrive in Tehran in the next few days to clarify the status of the PoWs of Iran and Iraq. He said the group will present the report of its discussions with Iraqi officials to Iran. Speaking at a one-day conference to pay tribute to the families ofPoWs and MiAs, Najafi said, "Some 8,000 of Iraqi PoWs have officially informed the ICRC that they do not wish to leave Iran." He added these people are voluntarily residing in Iran and they are permitted to leave the country whenever they wish."Despite of their own willingness (to remain in Iran), therepresentatives of the ICRC are interviewing them in Ahwaz, Khuzestan Province" added Najafi. He said, "So far, 59,830 Iraqi PoWs and 39,417 Iranian PoWs havebeen repatriated by the two countries." He added the exchange of these PoWs, which covers 97 percent of the entire PoWs, has been carried out following nine rounds ofdiscussions in Tehran and Baghdad and ten rounds in the border betweenthe two countries and the fate of the remaining three percent is stillunclear due to obstacles put by the Iraqi side. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/000913/2000091303.html * IRAQ ALLOWS ESTABLISHING PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES 13th Sept: For the first time in 32 years, the Iraqi commerce ministry allowed the private insurance companies to work in the country and according to the procedures ratified by the ministry five companies were allowed to get the necessary authorizations with the possibility of giving the authorization to other companies in the coming period. The new companies will be able to work in all the insurance areas including health, life insurance and maritime insurance on ships. Iraq had nationalized the insurance sector at the end of the sixties and a governmental corporation took the responsibility to provide the insurance for the local market inn addition to contracting with foreign companies to present their services in the external transportation field. Liberalizing the insurance sector is regarded as part of the framework of Liberalizing economic activities which so far comprised allowing establishing private banks and exchange offices. On the other hand, the Jordanian Harbors Corporation began applying the reduced tariffs for items transported to Iraq in addition to the harbor services in Aqaba harbor, a matter which can contribute in increasing Jordan's share in the transportation movement to Iraq in confronting the competition from the Syrian and Lebanese harbors. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_923000/923685.stm * IRAQI KURDISH FACTION TO WITHDRAW MILITIAS (BBC World Service, 13 September) The Kurdish Democratic Party has announced that it will withdraw all armed militias from large towns under its control in northern Iraq over the next two months. A statement said the decision was taken at a meeting in the town of Erbil, presided over by the KDP leader, Massoud Barzani. A spokesman for the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said the withdrawal was one of ITS main demands for the normalisation of relations between the two groups. More than three thousand people are estimated to have died in fighting between the KDP and the PUK since they fell out in 1994, two years after an agreement was made to share power in the mainly-Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/09/13/MN105700.DTL * UNLIKELY FOE OF IRAQ POLICY TELLS WHY (San Francisco Chronicle) by Lewis Dolinsky, September 13 "America could care less about disarming Iraq,'' says Scott Ritter. The ex-Marine was a hard nosed U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq until August 1998, when he fell out with his boss, Richard Butler, and grew tired of the meddling of his own government. Ritter says that Iraq is sufficiently disarmed but that the United States wants to maintain U.N. sanctions as a means of toppling, or neutralizing, Saddam Hussein. A worthy goal, perhaps, but contrary to the U.N. mandate -- as the Iraqi government keeps insisting. Iraq once accused Ritter of being a U.S. spy. But last month, Ritter was allowed into Baghdad to work on a documentary film. In arms facilities, he was received courteously by Iraqis who had previously vilified him. He scoffs at Butler's recent warnings that Iraq has resupplied itself with weapons of mass destruction. By phone from Albany, N.Y., Ritter denied he has flipped or flopped since he left the arms control job, as an observer might conclude. He says he speaks with authority because he was with UNSCOM from its inception in 1991 and even designed its intelligence operation. Ritter is mindful that Saddam is dangerous and terrible but says Saddam is not atypical in his region. In 1982, Syrian dictator Hafez Assad massacred 20,000 people in putting down Muslim insurgency in the city of Hama. Saddam killed 5,000 Iraqi Kurds with poison gas. If Saddam had killed them with artillery instead of poison gas, Ritter says, we would not be talking about them. Ritter, a rock-solid Republican, says President Bush's Hitler analogy trapped us in a failed policy. Ritter, you may recall, accused the United States of using UNSCOM intelligence gathering for its own ends, and he accused Butler of allowing it to happen. He also says Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and national security adviser Sandy Berger made UNSCOM delay inspections seven times in 1997-98 to suit the Clinton administration's political needs. But Ritter's main point is that by 1995, Rolf Ekeus, who was then head of UNSCOM, was saying Iraq was fundamentally disarmed, which meant that it was no longer a threat. Because of U.S. and British pressure, the U.N. continues to insist on 100 percent compliance with U.N. requirements. The original goal is impossible and unnecessary, unless the real purpose is to maintain sanctions no matter what. The Security Council must rewrite the rules of engagement in Iraq, Ritter says, because the second half of its mandate is essential: monitoring Iraqi arms so a buildup does not catch us by surprise. Iraq has not allowed weapons inspections since December 1998, but Ritter says Iraq will allow monitoring if we drop sanctions. Not suspend them, end them. Ritter says the Iraqis will allow us to watch them but not strip-search them. We can't look for every last document about missiles or every nut and bolt. In striving to achieve the impossible, he says, we are depriving ourselves of the opportunity to do what is necessary. Ritter was posted to General Norman Schwarzkopf's headquarters during the Gulf War, which Ritter says Bush ended 48 hours too soon. Ritter is not arguing that Saddam should have been taken out. That was impractical and beyond our mandate. We would have lost our Arab allies; Saudi Arabia would have erupted. But Ritter says we should have taken the extra time to destroy the Revolutionary Guard even if that meant killing 15,000 more Iraqis -- just like the ``turkey shoot'' depicted in Seymour Hersh's controversial New Yorker article. Those deaths among the soldiers propping up Saddam would have paled by comparison to the civilian deaths caused later by sanctions. UNICEF's figure, based on Iraqi data, is 1.5 million. "The longer we continue the policy of isolation and containment,'' Ritter says, "the stronger Saddam gets. In 1992, he would have lost a (fair) election in a landslide; now he would win in a landslide.'' When Ritter comes to the Bay Area this weekend, he will join Denis Halliday at anti sanctions events. Halliday was head of the U.N. oil- for-food program in Iraq until he decided it was fraudulent and that the loss of civilian life was unacceptable. Don't expect them to agree on everything. Ritter also believes that sanctions should end, but only after the U.N. satisfies its legal requirement, declaring that Iraq is in compliance on disarmament. In terms of the real world, Iraq is in compliance, he says. http://www.iraqdaily.com/?action=display&article=3522560&template=iraq/index .txt&index=recent * CHILD MALNUTRITION PLAGUES IRAQ The Associated Press, Thu 14 Sep 2000 ROME (AP) ‹ A U.N. report says child malnutrition remains a serious problem in much of Iraq despite increases in food rations in the country, which has been under U.N. sanctions for a decade. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization released the report Wednesday, two days after U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in New York that Iraqi officials have refused to cooperate with an investigation of the humanitarian situation in the country. Wednesday's report was based on a mission to Iraq in May by officials from FAO and two other U.N. agencies, the World Food Program and the World Health Organization. The agencies said the report was prepared for the Iraqi government. The survey found that two straight years of drought and inadequate availability of seeds and other farming supplies severely hurt Iraqi agriculture. Annan had noted that under the U.N. oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell oil to help feed its population, Iraqi officials have considerably increased the amount of food getting to ordinary people. But, he said, the Baghdad government has indicated it has no plans to cooperate with a panel of experts charged with making a comprehensive report on the overall humanitarian situation there. FAO officials in Rome could not say if Annan's remarks were based on some of the report's findings. The May mission found that food rations are lacking in vegetables, fruit and animal products and that monthly rations only last up to three weeks. The mission urged Iraq for ``timely submission of applications'' for food contracts, which then must be approved by the United Nations. Iraq has been under U.N. sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Sanctions can be lifted only after U.N. weapons inspectors report that Baghdad is free of its weapons of mass destruction. http://finance.individual.com/display_news.asp?doc_id=RTI14a4419reuff&page=n ews * KUWAIT SAYS IRAQ WANTS WAR, CALLS FOR ARAB STAND by Ashraf Fouad KUWAIT, (Reuters, September 14) - Kuwait on Thursday accused its former occupier Iraq of trying to trigger a new regional war, and an official called for a firm Arab stand against Baghdad's latest ``threats''. The Gulf Arab state denied in a statement carried by the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Iraqi claims that it was stealing oil from border fields. Baghdad also said on Thursday that it would take unspecified measures against its much smaller neighbour. ``The latest Iraqi claims and threats sound exactly like language used in July prior to the (August 2, 1990) invasion,'' a senior Kuwaiti official told Reuters. ``The Arab world should respond firmly to this behaviour.'' A war of words between Iraq and 1991 Gulf War foes Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has been brewing since the 10-year anniversary of the invasion of Kuwait but the latest Iraqi claims, diplomats said, have raised the level of concern in the region. The Kuwaiti statement, issued in the name of Information Minister Saad bin Tiflah, said: ``Iraq is trying to drag the area into new wars and is seeking to keep a level of tension because the continuation of the Iraqi regime in power is linked to tension and creating problems and crises with neighbours.'' The U.S.-led Gulf War ended Iraq's seven-month occupation of Kuwait in February 1991. Kuwait plans major celebrations in February to mark the 10th anniversary of Iraq's defeat and the 40th anniversary of independence from Britain. Iraq Oil Minister Amir Muhammed Rasheed, who is also an Iraqi armed forces general, said Kuwaiti drilling in a desert border zone was depleting Iraqi oil. Rasheed was quoted as saying fellow OPEC member Kuwait was ``practising an act of sabotage against Iraqi oilfields by digging oil walls in a joint zone (straddling the border) in order to deplete Iraqi underground oil reserve. ``Iraq will take suitable measures which will guarantee its and the Arab nations' rights to control its oil wealth and employ it for the interest of the whole Arab nation rather than achieve vicious American policy.'' Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah told Reuters at the U.N. in New York: ``We haven't stolen anything. If you take from your own land, it can't be stealing.'' He said that Iraqi jets had recently been more threatening, coming increasingly close to both Kuwait's and Saudi Arabia's borders. He said that Kuwait was on alert, but did not expect any military action. Senior Western defence sources in Kuwait had told Reuters that a possible fresh military standoff with Iraq later this year was taken into consideration when updating defence plans. Some said Iraq could try to create a fresh regional crisis as the U.S. presidential race heated. The United States and Britain have a large military presence in and around Kuwait, with additional firepower ready for immediate deployment. Iraq had accepted its land borders with Kuwait which were demarcated by the U.N. in a 1993 resolution and the area is patrolled by a U.N. force. ``The exploitation (of northern Kuwaiti oilfields) takes place infront of the world, especially the U.N. forces, in a legal manor. The latest Iraqi claims are baseless,'' the Kuwaiti information minister added. Two decades after nationalising the oil sector, Kuwait is currently seeking a role by oil majors to operate northern fields close to the border with Iraq to double production to 900,000 barrels per day over five years. Iraqi accusations against Kuwait over southern Iraqi oilfields and wrangling over OPEC oil production quotas were the main reasons for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Iraq has also criticised a decision by OPEC to raise output this week to help contain world oil prices. It said the latest deal had come about because Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had given in to pressure from the United States. http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2000/09/14/News/News.12209.html Thursday, September 14 2000 13:50 14 Elul 5760 * IRAQ TO BOYCOTT JORDANIAN FIRMS DOING BUSINESS WITH ISRAEL (Jerusalem Post, September 14) by Douglas Davis LONDON - Iraq has announced that it will boycott Jordanian companies that trade with Israel. The challenge is believed to be based on Baghdad's perception that Amman has failed to do enough to end international sanctions which have been in place since the 1990 Gulf crisis. According to the London-based Al-Kuds al-Arabi, Iraq has drawn up a list of 85 Jordanian companies it intends to boycott because of their contacts with Israel. A senior Arab source in London said that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had carefully chosen this moment to challenge a vulnerable neighboring Arab state. "He has calculated, probably correctly, that Washington is currently focused on the forthcoming presidential elections rather than on containing Iraq," he said. "This gives Saddam a license to revert to his natural bullying posture and to behave in ways that he might not in other circumstances." Observers in Amman are reported to believe Saddam is taking the opportunity to ratchet up the pressure on Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu-Ragheb, who is seeking to open up to Iraq, a vital trading partner for Jordan. Abu-Ragheb accompanied King Abdullah II to the UN Millennium Summit last week, during which the Jordanians are thought to have been rebuffed by Washington when they sought the go-ahead to improve ties with Baghdad. The paper reports that Amman was shocked by Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh, who launched a bitter attack on Jordan while meeting a large delegation of visiting Jordanian industrialists earlier this week. Saleh is reported to have blamed Amman for the decrease in economic cooperation between the two countries, charging that Jordan prohibits the export of many important goods to Iraq. He also charged that Jordan "does not take a serious stand" over the inspection of Iraqi bound imports that arrive via Akaba and that does not provide adequate investment incentives for Iraqis. Saleh also implicitly accused Jordan of going too far in complying with UN trade sanctions, and said that Amman not only withheld important products but also prevented third parties from exporting them to Baghdad. He said he was handing the Jordanian group a "blacklist" of 85 Jordanian industrial and trading firms engaged in "normalization activities" with Israel and which Baghdad will immediately boycott. Saleh portrayed the move as part of a general anti-normalization policy by Baghdad, but the London paper noted that it represented a direct challenge to Jordanian government policy, as it came less than a week after Amman appealed to anti-normalization activists to halt their campaign. http://www.newsday.com/coverage/current/news/thursday/nd4313.htm * U.S.: IRAQ VIOLATES SAUDI AIR SPACE by Roy Gutman, 14th September Iraq last week sent a military aircraft into the air space over Saudi Arabia in what the State Department yesterday called a "troubling development" and one of the worst violations of the United Nations-mandated no-fly zone. U.S. officials, who asked to remain unnamed, said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein may have been attempting to "provoke a crisis" during last week's UN Millennium Summit. They warned Iraq that the U.S. and British force that monitors the no-fly zone created after Iraq lost the Persian Gulf War "will respond appropriately to the violation at a time and place of our choosing." It had been a "long, long time since Iraq has flown aircraft like this," said one of the officials. Another aide termed it "extremely unusual" to send an aircraft into Saudi air space. According to the U.S. Central Command at McDill Air Force Base in Florida, most of the military tensions with Iraq involve no-fly-zone violations south of the 33rd parallel in southern Iraq or attempts to shoot down coalition aircraft. Since January, there have been 135 no-fly zone violations or incidents in which U.S. or British aircraft were fired at by surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft batteries. Neither the State Department nor the Central Command would provide details of the newest incident or those that preceded it. The disclosures come during a new drive by Iraq to lift economic sanctions imposed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. One U.S. official called it a "charm offensive." French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine told reporters yesterday that he would like to see the sanctions ended and that France will no longer support them. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, asked to comment yesterday, told the Newsday editorial board that the United States will not allow a renegotiation of the sanctions regime. A senior official said the secretary totally disagreed with the French. In another development, mid-level Middle East peace talks, mediated by the United States, will resume later, U.S. officials said. http://www.iraqdaily.com/?action=display&article=3526457&template=iraq/index .txt&index=recent * IRAQ, RUSSIA TO RESUME FLIGHTS BAGHDAD, Iraq (Associated Press, Thu 14 Sep) ‹ Iraq and Russia have agreed to resume flights between the two countries starting next month, Iraq's state run al-Thawra daily newspaper reported Thursday. The announcement came from Pavil Piryatku, regional director of the Russian official airline, Aeroflot. He was visiting Iraq to unveil the plan, the paper said. ``The decision was taken by President Vladimir Putin last month in Moscow after a meeting with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz,'' Piryatku said. The Russian airliner will reopen its Baghdad office in the middle of October, and steps have already been taken to provide equipment and administrative staff, Piryatku told the paper. He added that an Iraqi delegation will travel to Moscow this month ``to make final touches'' on rates, reservations and number of flights. ``We hope to make two or three flights weekly to transport passengers,'' Piryatku said. An official at the state-run Iraqi Airways confirmed the flight resumption to The Associated Press on Thursday but said Iraq had hoped the first flight would be by ``a brotherly Arab plane.'' It was unclear whether Russia or Iraq had sought U.N. permission to resume the flights. In comments broadcast by Monte Carlo radio and monitored by the British Broadcasting Corp., Piryatku said he was unable to give ``exact information'' on whether Moscow had obtained U.N. approval. The United States, Britain and the U.N. Sanctions Committee maintain that civil flights to and from Iraq constitute an economic resource. They say that makes such flights a breach of the sanctions in place since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Russia and France, Iraq's strongest allies on the U.N. Security Council, say the council never adopted a specific text banning all flights to and from Iraq. Iraq's Saddam International Airport was last used for commercial flights hours before the outbreak of the 1991 Gulf War. Since then, only a few planes have landed, mainly carrying humanitarian aid. The airport was officially reopened for business in August. Before the Gulf War, Iraq deposited its civilian fleet in Jordan, Iran, Tunisia and Mauritania. Baghdad also smuggled its warplanes to Iran, which took possession of the jet fighters when the war broke out. Iraq has been denied U.N. authorization to bring back its civilian planes. The only one now in use is an old Russian IL-76 transport plane that has transported Iraqi pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the last three years. U.N. resolutions say the sanctions are to remain in place until Baghdad complies with demands to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/09/14/ED88802.DTL * REPORTS OF IRAQI MISSILE THREAT ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED by Scott Ritter, September 14, 2000 [The recent Patriot missile] alert for deployment to Israel underscores the effort by the United States and others to create the perception of an imminent threat from an Iraqi ballistic missile. It doesn't seem to matter to the Pentagon that the Israeli Prime Minister himself downplays the Iraqi missile threat as nonexistent. In the nearly 20 months since U.N. weapons inspectors were last on the job in Iraq, there has been no shortage of speculation on what has transpired inside Iraq's weapons factories. Richard Butler, the former executive chairman of the now-defunct United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), has been at the forefront of those charging that Iraq is actively rearming. One of Ambassador Butler's favorite themes has been that ``Saddam Hussein is back in the business of making long-range missiles.'' The Pentagon's announcement appears perfectly constructed to play along with this theme. This is not the first time the United States has hyped an ``imminent'' threat from Iraqi missiles. This past summer, the CIA reported that its satellites picked up evidence that Iraq had resumed flight testing of the Al-Samoud missile. Even though the Al-Samoud has a range of less than 150 kilometers and is permitted under U.N. resolutions, the CIA highlighted these tests as proof that Iraq had more nefarious plans for long-range missiles. The United States has not been alone in ``exposing'' the threat from Baghdad. In a rare public statement earlier this month, the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) Intelligence Service confirmed a report that its agents had located a ``secret Iraqi missile factory near Baghdad,'' the Al Mamoun factory, which produces solid- fuel missiles known as the Ababil-100. Although the Ababil-100, like the Al-Samoud, possesses a range less than 150 kilometers, the BND cited this latest discovery as clear evidence that Saddam Hussein has continued to build up his arsenal. Given that inspectors have not been on the job for some time now, such information, on the surface, would seem compelling. But the reality is much different. Contrary to the BND report, the Al-Mamoun factory was well known to UNSCOM missile inspectors. Like the rest of the Iraqi weapons production infrastruc ture, the Al Mamoun factory had been under continuous monitoring by UNSCOM since 1993. The ``secret'' Ababil-100 missile project had in fact been declared to UNSCOM by Iraq in the spring of 1998. UNSCOM inspectors never felt that the Ababil-100 missile represented anything close to a viable project, let alone the potential threat to German cities that the BND report made it out to be. Why would the Germans publish such a report at this time? The answer lies in the current effort by UNSCOM's successor organization, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) to send inspectors back into Iraq. Iraq has made it clear that it rejects such inspections, and the Security Council is bracing itself for yet another confrontation. A report such as the one put out by the BND will play a prominent role in any discussion concerning Iraq's refusal to accept the UNMOVIC inspectors, and it closely parallels the CIA reports of the past summer and complements the recent Pentagon announcement on the Patriot missiles. Given the lack of substance behind the reports from the CIA, BND and the Pentagon, one couldn't help but conclude that these reports are part of an overall cam paign of disinformation designed to continue demonizing and isolating Iraq. Such disinformation campaigns have long been associated with the effort to contain Iraq through the continued economic sanctions. In this regard, the key issue isn't the truth about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, but rather the perception, however incorrect, of the threat such weapons pose in the hands of Iraq. The continuation of economic sanctions, which have resulted in the deaths of some 1.5 million innocent Iraqi civilians, hinges on the issue of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. It is high time that this issue be debated on the basis of fact, not fiction. By spreading such misleading and inaccurate reports, the United States and Germany have thrown away the credibility that comes by embracing the truth, and instead have surrounded themselves with a bodyguard of lies. Given the enormity of the tragedy unfolding in Iraq today, the citizens of these two great democracies deserve, and should demand, better. http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=117809 * IRAQ CONSIDERS EURO INSTEAD OF DOLLARS IN TRADE DEALINGS by Ghassan al-Kadi BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Iraq said Thursday it was studying the possibility of using the Euro and other currencies instead of the U.S. dollar in its trade dealings. The Iraqi government decided after a meeting chaired by President Saddam Hussein of forming a committee made by of economic experts to study such a possibility. A Cabinet statement said the decision to resort to currencies other than the U.S. dollar in concluding Iraq's trade contracts was meant to "consolidate the Iraqi capabilities in confronting its enemies where it could face them as long as the (U.N.-imposed) sanctions are maintained against it." The statement said "dealing with the U.S. dollar is one of our enemy's influences on the regional and international levels and it is this enemy which is fighting us in all fields and under all circumstances." It called on the Arab countries to "exchange the U.S. dollar with other currencies in their trade dealings in order to get rid of the harm inflicted by Zionism and the United States on their economies." The statement did not say when Iraq will adopt such a measure and whether this will affect previous contracts it had concluded in the U.S. dollar. Observers said if such a measure was adopted it will be among the most dangerous economic decisions taken by Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War, especially regarding contracts concluded in line with the U.N. oil-for-food program. The observers thus noted that it could be a step to get closer to the European countries. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/09/15/energy.iraq.saud.reut/index.html * KUWAIT OIL MINISTER SAYS OPEC FED UP WITH IRAQ (CNN, September 15) KUWAIT (Reuters) -- Kuwait's oil minister said on Friday that what he termed Iraq's ruling "thieves" were a threat to the oil-rich region and an obstacle within OPEC. "This is a strange world. (Iraqi) thieves are now accusing the noble (Kuwait). This is our situation now with that regime," Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah told reporters on his return home from OPEC meetings and a visit to France. He was responding to claims on Thursday by Iraq, which occupied Kuwait for seven months in 1990-1991, that its much smaller neighbor was stealing oil from a border field. Kuwait has strongly denied the charge. It said it was producing 46,000 bpd for a well on its side of the border. Baghdad also said that it would take unspecified measures against Kuwait to stop what it called sabotage, remarks which triggered a strong warning from the United States. Washington said it was ready to use Gulf-based forces if Iraq took such action. Iraq "is an obstacle to the stability in this region and its security, and is also an obstacle to OPEC operations," said Sheikh Saud, criticizing Iraq for blocking the election of a Saudi Arabian as OPEC's new secretary-general. Iraq made similar allegations of oil theft before its troops invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, which led to the 1991 Gulf War, the ousting of Iraqi forces and imposition of international sanctions on Baghdad. "We are concerned, of course," said Sheikh Saud who served as ambassador to Washington during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis. Earlier on Friday, al-Rai al-Aaam newspaper quoted Sheikh Saud as saying in an interview in Paris that the international community would act to make Iraq comply with U.N. resolutions and end threats to neighbors. "Wait for October, and see how things turn out...The issue (Iraq) has become annoying to all, to France, Britain, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Iran... "The big powers will not allow Iraq to reject U.N. resolution 1284" which deals with the return of U.N. arms inspectors to Iraq, said the minister. U.N. arms inspection operations in Iraq have been halted since December 1998 when the United States and Britain launched military strikes against Iraq. Sheikh Saud accused Baghdad, with the aid of some countries which he did not name, of rebuilding its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and added: "I do not think world states will stand by with arms folded." In Washington, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said the United States was deeply committed to stopping Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from threatening his neighbors or rebuilding his weapons of mass destruction. "He has had times where he's miscalculated. But he should not miscalculate our resolve," he told reporters on Friday. The latest tension has triggered a fresh rally on oil markets, reversing some easing which followed a deal this week by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) -- which includes both Kuwait and Iraq -- to increase official output by 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) from October 1. London Brent crude last traded at $33.90 a barrel while U.S. light crude was at $35.85 a barrel, having touched $36 a barrel -- the highest level since the Gulf War -- minutes before the close of business. Iraq has also criticized the OPEC accord and said it was reached after Gulf War foe Saudi Arabia and Kuwait bowed to pressure from the United States. The accusation also reminded officials here of language used in 1990. Sheikh Saud dismissed earlier Iraqi statements on oil policy and said: "Iraq has two positions...Inside OPEC, it threatens to raise output and that it has the capacity to reach three million bpd. Our response was 'good for you' if you can reach three million. "At the same time, Iraq (publicly) threatens that it would stop its oil production, I do not know which stand to believe." http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=000915001185&query =Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * Carey in New York (The Guardian, Sep 15 extract from article: MDC offices in Harare raided) ....... The Archbishop of Canterbury called for the reform of UN sanctions against Iraq yesterday. Dr George Carey, speaking in New York, said the sanctions were affecting ordinary Iraqis, particularly children, rather than the regime. http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=000915000147&query =Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * IRAQ: VICE-PRESIDENT, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO ENVOY DISCUSS TIES, COOPERATION ( Iraqi TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1700 gmt 14 Sep 00 /BBC Monitoring) Vice-President Taha Yasin Ramadan received Kazadi Timboy [phonetic], ambassador for special missions and envoy of Laurent Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Timboy conveyed a message from Kabila extending greetings to President Saddam Husayn and the Iraqi people. He praised the heroic steadfastness of the Iraqi people in the face of the continuing US-UK attacks and their jihad to lift the unjust embargo by rallying round their leader who achieved a distinguished status for Iraq which has become a model for peoples who adhere to their principles and sovereignty in rejection of subservience and hegemony. He underlined the Democratic Republic of Congo's keenness to develop relations with Iraq - a country of civilizations and heroic deeds - in a manner that serves the interests of the two friendly countries. Ramadan expressed, on President Saddam's behalf, his gratitude to Kabila and asked the Congolese envoy to convey Saddam's greetings and the Iraqi people's and leadership's appreciation for the Democratic Republic of Congo's stands, which are opposed to the colonialist, imperialist policies of America. He also expressed Iraq's genuine desire to develop relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ramadan stressed that solidarity with Iraq by world countries and nationalist forces, represented by their parties and associations, will render unsuccessful the colonialist US policy. This policy, he explained, is based on exploitation, aggression, and interference in other countries' affairs with the aim of stealing their resources and determining their peoples' destiny. He pointed to the victories achieved by Iraq under President Saddam against America and its colonialist policy. The Congolese envoy reiterated his country's solidarity with Iraq, which is defending the principles of sovereignty, freedom, and cultural progress, and struggling against the US policy of hegemony. He noted that his visit aims at finding new mechanisms for cooperation and friendship between Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He expressed confidence that these relations will be developed and expanded in various fields. During the meeting, the two sides discussed prospects for bilateral cooperation and underlined their true desire to enhance and diversify cooperation in the interest of the two peoples. http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=000915000121&query =Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * OIL MINISTER TELLS SYMPOSIUM USA PLANNED TO WEAKEN OPEC WITH SAUDI HELP (Republic of Iraq Radio, Baghdad, in Arabic 1600 gmt 14 Sep 00 /BBC Monitoring) Under the patronage of blessed leader President Saddam Husayn, and under the slogan "We support all that would serve OPEC, its unity and stands", the Oil Ministry organized a symposium to mark the 40th OPEC anniversary. Oil Minister Dr Amir Muhammad Rashid represented leader President Saddam Husayn at the symposium... The representative of the leader president gave a speech in which he said: The celebration of OPEC's 40th anniversary has a special importance, not because Iraq witnessed the birth of this organization on 14th September 1960, but because the epic of steadfastness and confrontation, under the leadership of President Saddam Husayn, of Iraq's enemies and the plunderers of the peoples' resources, has become a lofty and pioneering symbol of defending the developing countries' interests... He added: The US administration has set a comprehensive programme aimed at weakening OPEC after its member states succeeded in exercising their legitimate sovereignty on their oil resources and in using their revenues to reinforce national independence and development programmes. The representative of the leader president said: Saudi Arabia has contributed to implementing the wicked US programme, which caused successive collapses in oil prices, something which caused grave damage to the interests of OPEC member states and left negative effects, which OPEC states failed to overcome for a long time. He added: Iraq, in cooperation with a number of OPEC member states, had managed to foil the US plans, which are supported by Saudi Arabia. These plans were aimed at causing harm to the economies of the oil-producing countries. Leader President Saddam Husayn's proposals in his research in 1999 marked the beginning of a new stage for OPEC to restore its control over the oil market and assume its role in protecting the interests of its member states. Dr Amir Muhammad Rashid said: Iraq views OPEC summit, which will be held in Caracas on 27th September, as an important opportunity to reaffirm the organization's unity and independent decision-making and policy. Concluding, the representative of leader President Saddam Husayn said: Iraq, based on its huge oil reserves, views with optimism OPEC's future and growing role in safeguarding the interests of the freedom-loving peoples... http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=3540672&template=iraq/index .txt&index=recent * IRAQI FOES TO RECEIVE AID NEW YORK (Associated Press, Fri 15 Sep) ‹ The Clinton administration soon will provide $4 million to political foes of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to help them try to end his rule, a senior State Department official said. Congress was notified of the grant recently, and another $4 million will be sent in stages under a program being worked out with the Iraqi National Congress, which is trying to oust the Iraqi leader, the official said Thursday night. The Clinton administration is not providing any weapons to the opposition, said the official who talked to reporters under rules that kept his identity secret. Some 200 Iraqi dissidents are being schooled with Pentagon funds on legal and war-crime issues, the official said. And documents detailing human rights abuses are being collected for potential use by a war crimes tribunal. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with eight of the political foes, some of whom came here from Iraq. Others live in exile. "They proposed ways to hold Iraq accountable'' to the United Nations and "to the people of Iraq,'' Albright said in a statement. "Anyone who really cares about the Iraqi people and the recovery of their once-great country must listen to free Iraqis like these who bravely speak the truth,'' she said. The U.S. contributions are to be used to fund a newspaper, radio transmitters and other media operations. An additional $268,000 was given to the Iraqi National Congress for administration. Only the United States is providing this kind of assistance to opponents of Saddam Hussein, the official said. None of the Arab countries were willing to participate in what they view as an attempt by an external force ‹ the United States ‹ to bring down an Arab government, he said. In a speech to the United Nations on Tuesday and on other occasions this week Albright has denounced Saddam and his government. She called him a villain and said at a news conference Thursday: ``I genuinely have trouble believing one word out of the mouths of any Iraqi official.'' For the first time in more than a decade, at least one Iraqi fighter jet flew into Saudi Arabia airspace last week, a senior U.S. official said. Albright said Iraq's purpose may have been to confront the United States during the U.N. Millennium summit. Trying to put pressure on Saddam Hussein, she met for 50 minutes with eight Iraqi opponents of his rule and discussed trying to build a legal case against him, possibly with the formation of a war crimes tribunal. "The United States salutes the courage of Iraqis everywhere in the opposition,'' Albright said in a statement. ``I wish them success in presenting to the world the true hopes and needs of the Iraqi people.'' Albright warned Iraq, meanwhile, that if it rebuilt its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction or otherwise crossed U.S. "red lines'' it risked a U.S. attack. "We have a credible force in the region and we are prepared to use it at a time and place of our choosing,'' she said at a news conference. At the same time, Albright ridiculed any suggestion that U.N. sanctions were denying food to the Iraqi people. She said oil revenues were so high "they import 12,000 cases of scotch each year.'' "I am not sure if this is food or medicine,'' Albright added. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/09/15/iraq.opposition.reut/index.html * Shi'ite group opposes U.S. aid to Iraqi opposition NEW YORK (Reuters, September 15) -- The main Shi'ite Moslem group fighting the Iraqi government said on Friday it opposed U.S. funding because it would undermine the opposition's credibility among the Iraqi people and Iraq's neighbors. The group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), took part in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Thursday night after staying away from some similar events in the past. The SCIRI representative in London, Hamid al-Bayati, said he went to the meeting because it was on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and because the Iraqi delegation did not represent the U.S.-backed Iraqi National Congress (INC). "We always take part in the U.N. This (the United States) is a permanent member of the Security Council and a superpower," he told Reuters in a telephone interview. The INC accepts U.S. money and soon expects to receive the first half of an $8 million grant -- a quantum leap in the level of U.S. assistance to the Iraqi opposition. Bayati said, "Financial support will undermine the INC's credibility in the eyes of the Iraqi people and neighboring countries. We will give (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein a good political card to accuse us of being American agents." SCIRI, based in Tehran and close to the Iranian government, has stayed away from INC events, to the frustration of U.S. officials who want the INC to be as inclusive as possible. SCIRI is also one of the few Iraqi opposition groups believed to be active militarily inside parts of Iraq under the control of President Saddam Hussein. Bayati said SCIRI did however support an Iraqi opposition proposal for "no-drive zones" inside Iraq. In such zones any Iraqi military vehicles engaged in internal repression of the Iraqi people would be liable to attack. He said "no-drive zones" had U.N. authority under a Security Council resolution passed after the Gulf War over Kuwait in 1991, even if the only countries able to enforce them would be the United States, Britain and their allies. http://www.sunspot.net/content/archive/story?section=archive&pagename=story& storyid=1150470202639 * IRAQI PRELATE CALLS FOR END TO SANCTIONS: ARCHBISHOP KASSAB VISITS CARDINAL KEELER (Sun, Maryland, Sep 15) Roman Catholic Archbishop Gabriel Kassab of Basra in southern Iraq brought a message yesterday to the United States: End the decade-old economic sanctions against his country and the suffering they have brought. "I want to say that as a witness I saw in many hospitals not even a syringe available to give shots, and there were some operations done without anesthesia," Kassab said yesterday atop the steps of the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in downtown Baltimore. "The people and only the people are suffering." Kassab spoke through a translator, his brother Joseph, a physician living in the Detroit suburbs. Yesterday, Kassab met with Cardinal William H. Keeler. Over the next 10 days, he will travel to Ohio, New York and Michigan. The archbishop said he will continue to talk about the need for food, medicine, school repairs and clean water in his country. Keeler and six other cardinals wrote a letter to President Clinton in 1998, urging him to find a way to get more humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians. A State Department official said yesterday food and medicine are not among the commodities subject to the sanctions, which mostly deal with heavy machinery and tools that could be used to strengthen an army or produce weapons. The sanctions have been in place since the Persian Gulf War. "There's no limit to the amount of food that can be imported, there's no limit to the amount of medicine that can be imported," the official said. "The nations of the world remain concerned about the well-being of the Iraqi people and are trying to find new ways to help them without giving Saddam Hussein free rein to use the money." Kassab and Keeler met in March when they were both in Amman, Jordan, to greet Pope John Paul II on his trip to biblical sites in the Middle East. As part of that trip, the Pope had planned to visit Ur, in southern Iraq, the birthplace of Abraham. But unrest related to the sanctions made it too risky to travel to Iraq, Joseph Kassab said. Iraq, predominantly Muslim, is home to 750,000 Christians. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_925000/925661.stm * IRAQ SANCTIONS 'CRUEL, OUTDATED,' SAYS VEDRINE (Earth Times, 15th Sept) by Michael Littlejohns Fears that Russia might decide unilaterally to end sanctions againt Iraq without waiting for the Security Council were compounded Wednesday when French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine stated that the embargo was "cruel, oudated, economically absurd" and should go. He also said that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told again him this week that his country does not accept the key UN Resolution 1284 and will not cooperate with Hans Blix, the new UN chief weapons inspector who has replaced Richard Butler, an Australian with whom Baghdad repeatedly feuded. "Evidently, the situation has not evolved," Vedrine said at a UN press conference, noting there had been no major change recently on the Iraqi side, on the US side or on the part of the European Union, of which France is the current president. The minister's remarks followed US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's statement Tuesday that Washington would not use force to obtain Iraqi cooperation with UN weapons inspectors. It coincided with a joint FAO-World Food Program report from Rome that Iraqi children are suffering from serious malnutrition, except where the UN is in charge of humanitarian aid distribution, in the nothern part of the country. "Child malnutrition rates in the central and southern parts of the country do not appear to have improved significantly and nutritional problems remain serious and widespread," according to the report. Drought and sheer poverty contributed to the situation, but food supplied under the Oil for Food system failed to provide a nutritionally adequate and varied diet, the two UN agencies said. Though adequate in energy and total protein, vegetables, fruit and animal products were missing from the rations. As a result, apart from the effects on children, more than half of adult Iraqis were overweight and at risk of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, "the major reported causes of death" in adults. Also, pharmaceuticals were in short supply and health services were far from adequate, due in part to a dilapidated infrastructure and power shortages at hospitals and clinics. But specific programs aimed at improving the situation had "either not been implemented or have suffered very slow startups," while a supplementary feeding program recommended by Kofi Annan two years ago was never acted upon by the Iraqi government. With the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports now lifted and oil prices rocketing, the report urged Baghdad to implement this program as soon as possible. Moscow's discontent with sanctions has been underscored in statements that the economically battered former superpower lost $30 billion in Iraqi trade. http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDI16/SDI16237.htm * EGYPT URGES EFFORTS TO END UN SANCTIONS ON IRAQ (Business recorder) CAIRO (September 16) : Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa called in remarks published on Friday for an end to UN sanctions on Iraq, saying Baghdad no longer posed the threat it had done a decade ago. "We and others see that after 10 years of sanctions and embargo, it is not possible for Iraq to be the threat that was present in 1990," Moussa told the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat in an interview in New York. His comments appeared amid renewed tension in the Gulf after Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing its oil and Washington said it was ready to use force if Baghdad threatened its neighbours. Kuwait denied the oil theft charge, similar to accusations Baghdad levelled before its 1990 invasion of the Gulf emirate. Moussa said it was time to modify the sanctions regime aimed at forcing Iraq to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction, but did not offer a specific formula. "There must be a change in the scope of inspection, monitoring, embargo and interdiction," he declared. "Where is the way out...the way out that everyone accepts? He spoke of a growing Arab consensus that the status quo was unacceptable, but acknowledged Arab differences over the conditions under which the sanctions could be lifted. The UN Security Council passed resolution 1284 in December 1999, making any easing of sanctions conditional on a return of UN arms inspectors to Iraq. Permanent members France, China and Russia abstained in the vote. "In its present form, resolution 1284 will be difficult to implement," Moussa said. "But there is nothing to stop the UN secretary-general and the Security Council from looking at ways to move to the next phase of joint work with Iraq to implement the resolution to get Iraq out of this ditch." Asked about implementing mechanisms that would allow Iraq to see light at the end of the sanctions tunnel and encourage it to co-operate with Security Council resolutions, he said: "First we must affirm that there is light. "A state of total darkness is not acceptable, nor is it acceptable to say there is only one way out of the embargo, which is resolution 1284," he said, but added that it must be respected as a Security Council resolution. Moussa said the way forward was for the UN secretariat or the secretary-general or the chairman of the Security Council to start discussing how to suspend the sanctions against Iraq.-Reuters http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=3559678&template=iraq/index .txt&index=recent * IRAQ BOOSTS MILITARY TRAINING BAGHDAD, Iraq (Associated Press, Sat 16 Sep) ‹ President Saddam Hussein has ordered his party members to conduct military training year-round because of rising hostility toward Iraq, newspapers reported Saturday. The order, made during a Cabinet meeting Thursday, coincided with a Clinton administration decision to provide $4 million to the Iraqi leader's political foes and another $4 million in stages under a program with the Iraqi National Congress, which is trying to oust Saddam. "Because our enemy is fighting us in all fields and under all titles, we must boost our capabilities to face the enemy in the fields we are capable of,'' Saddam said in remarks carried by the official Al-Qadissiya newspaper. Military training is usually conducted during crises and summer vacations only. The decree allows civil servants and regular citizens to volunteer for military training. Volunteers are taught to fire automatic weapons and rocket-propelled-grenade launchers. Tensions between the United States and Iraq have been rising, mostly over a renewed attempt to have U.N. inspectors look for hidden weapons of mass destruction. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Wednesday the United States will back vigorous diplomacy with a threat of force to preserve stability through the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Regional friction increased Thursday, when Iraq accused Kuwait of digging wells that allow it to steal Iraqi oil and warned that it will take measures to stop its neighbor's action. An official at the Iraqi Information Ministry told The Associated Press on Saturday that Iraq did not threaten anyone. "We only said we will take measures to stop the theft of our oil by Kuwaitis. But the training of people and the Baath ruling party members will continue as a precautionary measure,'' he added, speaking on condition of anonymity. Iraq historically has accused Kuwait of stealing its oil, one of the justifications it made for invading in 1990. A U.S.-led coalition army drove Iraq from Kuwait seven months later. In the Saudi capital of Riyadh, a foreign ministry official said Iraq's comments about Kuwait are similar to threats that preceded Iraq's invasion. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Saudi Arabia and other Gulf neighbors were planning to meet in the coming days to discuss the situation and affirm solidarity with Kuwait. Kuwaiti officials repeatedly have denied Iraq's claims. http://www.timesofindia.com/160900/16mide4.htm * PENTAGON TRYING TO INCRIMINATE IRAQ: PAPER (Times of India) BAGHDAD, 16th sept: An official Iraqi newspaper on Friday refuted claims by the Pentagon that it was closely observing Iraq, saying Washington was looking to "incriminate" Baghdad. "The United States has been trying for some time to invent and inflate facts ... with the goal of harming Iraq and wrongly incriminating it," said Ath-Thawra newspaper, mouthpiece of the ruling Baath party. The paper was reacting to statements by Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon that Washington was watching "Iraq very, very closely, but particularly at this time of year, because August, September and October tend to be the times when Saddam Hussein historically has either decided to attack his neighbors or attack his own people." "Would a simple sneeze from Iraq worry American politicians so much?" the paper asked. "In the United States, the image of Iraq will always be of a country that dangerously threatens the security of the region and US interests ... and that will last until the end of the American elections" in November, it said. Washington said on September 12 that it was flying scores of warplanes and thousands of support troops to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey as part of a scheduled rotation of forces that coincides with heightened concern about Iraq. Bacon said the current rotation was "fairly standard" and that there were no plans to increase the size of the US force in the region. Tension mounted in the Gulf Friday as Kuwait accused Iraq of trying to plunge the region into a new war by claiming that the emirate had been stealing oil from Iraqi territory. And Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Saud Nasser al-Sabah warned Iraq in Al-Rai al-Aam newspaper that the international community would not allow Baghdad to keep defying the United Nations and rebuilding weapons of mass destruction. http://www.timesofindia.com/160900/16worl8.htm * US PLANES HIT RADAR STATION IN IRAQ: PENTAGON (Times of India, 16th Sept) WASHINGTON: US planes patrolling a no-fly zone over southern Iraq hit an Iraqi radar installation on Thursday but the extent of the damage was not immediately known, the Defense Department announced. The site, part of the Iraqi air defense network, was attacked at 9:00 a.m. (1300 GMT), according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley. "The coalition aircraft all returned safely to their home stations, and the battle damage assessment is still being done," he said. Quigley confirmed that there were "a couple of violations" of the southern no-fly zone by Iraq on September 4. According to The New York Times, an Iraqi fighter-jet violated Saudi airspace on that day. Iraqi warplanes have made 150 incursions into the northern and southern no-fly zones patrolled by the United States and Britain since December 1998, Quigley said. The spokesman said US defense officials have taken note of recent belligerent statements coming from Baghdad. "This time of year we pay particular attention to that," said Quigley. "And we will continue that for as long as it takes." (AFP) http://home.kyodo.co.jp/cgi-bin/m_conciseStory/#20000917006 * FORMER JAPANESE DEFENSE CHIEF MEETS IRAQI SPEAKER (17th Sept): A Japanese delegation led by former Defense Agency chief Fumio Kyuma met Saturday with Iraq's Parliament speaker Sa'adoun Hammadi. According to the official Iraqi News Agency (INA), Kyuma, a House of Representatives member from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), ''affirmed his understanding of and sympathy to the sufferings of the Iraqi people because of the unjust sanctions.'' http://www.timesofindia.com/170900/17inte18.htm * Iraqi trade fair in Beirut (Times of India, 17th Sept) BEIRUT: An Iraqi trade fair opened in Beirut Saturday, marking the first exhibition of Iraqi goods in Lebanon since the 1990 economic embargo was imposed on Iraq. The Iraqi products, including dates, canned foods, rice, honey, wool and carpets, were allowed inland into Lebanon on Thursday, tax free. Lebanese officials have said the Iraqi Products Fair, which ends Sept. 24, does not violate the United Nations' trade sanctions on Iraq imposed after it invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990. The exhibition was opened by Lebanon's Economy and Trade Minister Nasser Saidi and his Iraqi counterpart, Mohammed Mehdi Saleh. Lebanon's relations with Iraq were severed in 1994 after three Iraqi diplomats were accused of killing a prominent Iraqi dissident in Beirut. Economic ties have since improved, including official visits by ministers of the two countries. (AP) -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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://www.casi.org.uk