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NEWS, 815/10/00 I have not included any items directly on the current Israeli/Palestinian confrontation, despite its obvious relevance. I have a couple of pieces related to the attack on the US gunship in Aden in the Supplement because the ship was policing sanctions (I am unpleasantly surprised to note that the Yemeni authorities would allow a US gunboat patrolling the Gulf to refuel in Aden). The hijack of the Saudi plane occurred just as I thought my labours were finished and I have included three items, the last finishing on an ungracious note from Mr Cook. Otherwise the main thrust of the news has been continued long overdue Arab solidarity flights to Iraq; Turkey joining in for what seems rather frivolous reasons; and Iraq converting from the dollar to the euro (a comment on this, downplaying its importance, is in the Supplement) ‹ PB * Syrian plane lands in Baghdad after 18 years * Saddam Chairs Meeting on Palestine Issue * Turkish Plane in Iraq on Humanitarian Mission * Iraq and Ukraine sign minutes of joint cooperation * Iraq donates 5 million euros to Palestinians * Iraq Willing to Do Business With Kuwaiti Companies * Iraqi oil will flow through Syrian territories * Iraq to attend Arab summit * Lebanon seeks Jordan-type oil deal with Iraq * Syria to send second plane to Iraq * Turkey To Operate Iraqi Pipeline * U.S. congress members support goals of Iranian resistance * Iraq says wants euro oil payments from Nov * Iraq wins opening Asian Cup match * Turkey work on Iraq pipeline must be UN-approved * Iran Foreign Minister visits Baghdad * [Egypt] signing a contract for exporting food products to Iraq of 100 million L.E * Four solidarity flights land in Iraq despite UN air embargo * Passengers Freed on Saudi Plane * Hijackers: Saudi Gov't Is Corrupt * Hijack victims prepare to leave Iraq NEWS SUPPLEMENT (sent separately), 815/10/00 * Poll shows sanctions helped grease Milosevic's downfall [comparison between the apparent success of sanctions in achieving US war aims in Serbia and the lack of success in Iraq] * Don't Fear Saddam [by Jim Hoagland, recommending tough action of some unspecified sort] * Saddam gets bolder as U.N. sanctions get weaker By Eli J. Lake [Is the sanctions regime unravelling?] * Six dead in apparent terror attack on U.S. Navy ship in Yemen [though the figure of six is out of date this gives quite a good account of the circumstances] * US closes African embassies * Petro-euro likely to remain a pipe-dream * Oil Experts Say Third 'Predictable' Personality [Guess who?] Could Shape Presidential Election, Send Gas Prices Skyrocketing And Fuel Israeli-Palestinian Conflict * Persian Gulf, U.S. Danger Zone [account of US deployment in the Gulf] http://www.timesofindia.com/091000/09mide4.htm * SYRIAN PLANE LANDS IN BAGHDAD AFTER 18 YEARS BAGHDAD: A Syrian plane with senior government officials, doctors, nurses and humanitarian aid on board landed in Baghdad on Sunday, the first such flight in more than 18 years. "We are Arabs... and we are here to show our support to our brothers in Iraq," said Syrian Cabinet Minister Mohammed Mufdhi Sevo, who led the delegation which included doctors, nurses and representatives of unions and the media. The Airbus-320 also carried 10 tons of medical and humanitarian supplies. It was received by Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh and Transportation and Communications Minister Ahmed Murtada Ahmed. The flight is believed to have received clearance from the United Nations. It comes two weeks after France and Russia first challenged the 10-year old sanctions by flying planes to Baghdad without authorization from the U.N. sanctions committee. Since then there have also been flights from Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria, all of which had received approval. Egyptian, Lebanese and Turkish groups have also announced plans to send planes to Baghdad in coming days. The flight is also a sign that relations between Iraq and Syria, ruled by rival factions of the Arab nationalist Baath Party, are continuing to thaw. Last week, Syria called for an end to U.N. sanctions against Iraq and trade and transportation links between the two states have recently been increased. Relations between the two countries began improving in 1997 after a 17-year break in diplomatic ties during which Syria sided with non-Arab Iran against Iraq in their 1980-88 war and fought with the U.S.-led coalition forces against Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War to liberate Kuwait. Iraq's state-controlled newspapers have celebrated the flights as a sign that the sanctions' regime is crumbling, but U.N. sanctions committee chairman, Dutch ambassador to the United Nations Peter van Walsum, has said Baghdad would be making a "tragic mistake" if it thought that sanctions would disappear without allowing weapons inspections to resume. .... http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200010/09/eng20001009_52085.html * SADDAM CHAIRS MEETING ON PALESTINE ISSUE (People's Daily, 9/10/00) Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Sunday convened a meeting on the recent violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the Palestinian territories. Izzat Ibrahim, vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Iraq's top decision-making body, Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan and Foreign Minister Mohammad Said Al-Sahaf attended the meeting, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported. The meeting discussed the Palestine issue and the threats posed to Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian people by Israel, the INA said, without giving any detail. Iraq in recent days has repeatedly condemned Israel for its "butchery" against the Palestinians, and has called for a Muslim holy war for the "liberation of Palestine" following the bloody clashes in the Palestinian territories and Israel. At least four large-scale demonstrations have been held in Baghdad to protest against the "Israeli crimes" against the Palestinians. The wave of clashes, the worst in four years, have left over 80 people, mostly Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, killed and more than 2,000 others injured. The United States, a major ally of Israel, has kept a close eye on Iraq, which has been under a crippling U.N. sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. In a televised interview on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned Iraq not to threaten its neighbors or its own people. Paul Mikolashek, commander of the Third U.S. Army and U.S. Armed Forces Central Command, stressed on September 20 that all necessary military precautions have been taken to foil any new Iraqi threat to the security of Kuwait and the region. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200010/09/eng20001009_52159.html * TURKISH PLANE IN IRAQ ON HUMANITARIAN MISSION (People's Daily, 9/10/00) Turkey on Monday sent a small plane to Iraq on a humanitarian mission to the United Nations sanctions-hit country. The private plane, carrying a seven-member delegation as well as medicine and medical equipment, touched down at the Saddam International Airport at 10:25 (0725 GMT). This was the first flight from Turkey to Iraq in 10 years. Lotfi Dugan, head of the delegation which included doctors and businessmen, told reporters at the airport that the flight has got the support of the Turkish government and the approval of the U.N. Sanctions Committee. He called on all Arab countries to fly planes to Iraq to show solidarity. Turkey was following the lead of Russia, France and a number of Arab states who have launched humanitarian flights to Iraq over the past weeks. Ankara also turned a green light to Russian flights to Iraq through its airspace. Turkey has taken steady steps to improve its relations with neighboring Iraq. Ankara announced in July that it will upgrade its level of representation in Baghdad from the post-Gulf War charge d'affaires to ambassador. http://search.ft.com/Search/MultiSearch/globalarchive.jsp?docId=001009007471 &query=Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * IRAQ AND UKRAINE SIGN MINUTES OF JOINT COOPERATION BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom, Oct 9, 2000 Baghdad, 9th October: Iraq and Ukraine signed minutes of joint cooperation today. The minutes were signed for Iraq by Hikmat al-Azzawi, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, and for Ukraine by First Deputy Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov... The minutes included cooperation in economic, trade, oil, agricultural and other fields, as well as the formation of the Iraqi-Ukrainian committee. Source: INA news agency web site, Baghdad, in Arabic 9 Oct 00 /BBC Monitoring http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDJ10/SDJ10199.htm * IRAQ DONATES 5 MILLION EUROS TO PALESTINIANS BAGHDAD (October 10) : President Saddam Hussein donated five million euros ($4.34 million) to support Palestinian clashes with Israel and opened training camps for Iraqis volunteering to fight the Israelis, newspapers said on Monday. "The President decided to donate five million euros to Palestinian martyrs and to support the (Palestinian) uprising," the ruling Baath Party newspaper al-Thawra said, quoting a meeting of top Iraqi officials chaired by Saddam late on Sunday. It also said Saddam ordered that military training camps open "for volunteers willing to launch jihad (holy war) to liberate Palestine". Saddam instructed the Iraqi Health Ministry to send medical teams and supplies to treat wounded Palestinians and said that Iraq was ready to receive and treat the injured. At least 84 people have been killed, most of them Palestinians, and many more injured in 11 days of clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel itself. The Iraqi president had earlier ordered his cabinet to name a school and street in Baghdad after Mohammed Durra, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy shot dead in Gaza by Israeli soldiers in a televised killing that shocked the world. On Tuesday, he had said his country was ready to "put an end to Zionism" if other Arab rulers did not defend the Palestinians. And on Saturday, Baghdad urged Arab countries to cut ties with Israel and the United States and called for a "holy war" ... .-Reuters http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200010/10/eng20001010_52209.html * IRAQ WILLING TO DO BUSINESS WITH KUWAITI COMPANIES Tuesday, October 10, 2000 In a rare friendly move, Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Salah said that Iraq is willing to do business with Kuwaiti companies within the framework of the United Nations oil-for-food program, local media reported Monday. During a recent session of the Iraqi National Assembly (parliament), Salah said that there are no restrictions for Kuwaiti companies if they present requests to the Iraqi authorities to export goods to the U.N. sanctions-hit country under the oil-for-food program, the reports said. The program allows Iraq to sell crude in return for vital imports of basic humanitarian supplies such as food and medicine. Iraq gives priority to developing trade ties with Arab countries, Salah said, adding that the trade volume between Iraq and other Arab countries makes up more than 45 percent of its total foreign trade dealings. This has been regarded as a friendly gesture by Iraq to try to soothe the rising tension between Iraq and Kuwait, which was briefly occupied by Iraqi forces in 1990. Tensions have mounted between the two neighbors recently after the two accused each other of stealing oil along their borders, with Iraq threatening to take "necessary" measures against its tiny neighbor. Kuwait has reacted strongly and accused Iraq of trying to trigger a new regional war, referring to similar grievance from Iraq that led to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait 10 years ago. Moreover, Iraq has repeatedly condemned Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as "full culprits" by collaborating with the U.S. and Britain to attack Iraq because the two countries host U.S. and British warplanes enforcing the no-fly zones over southern and northern Iraq. Iraq has never recognized the no-fly zones imposed by the U.S.-led Western troops in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001010/2000101009.html Free! * IRAQI OIL WILL FLOW THROUGH SYRIAN TERRITORIES Iraq, Economics, 10/10/2000 The Jordanian weekly al-Majd said in its Monday issue that the Iraqi oil will flow in the pipeline which passes through the Syrian territories before the end of the current month. The paper said quoting well-informed sources that the process of resuming the Iraqi oil through Syria will actually contribute to weaken the sanctions imposed on Iraq and increasing closeness between Damascus and Baghdad. The circles said that Iraq at the meantime has based its attitude on the differences among the UN Security Council member state ( some are with lifting the ambargo and some are not ) and the Syrian position in backing Iraq, noting in this regard the quick visit made by Tareq Aziz to Damascus to convince Syria to resume full relations with Baghdad. http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=126327 * IRAQ TO ATTEND ARAB SUMMIT BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Iraqi newspapers said Tuesday that Iraq has agreed to attend an Arab summit in Cairo, Egypt, later this month, but criticized Arab leaders for not holding the meeting to discuss the ongoing Middle East crisis sooner. The papers reported that President Saddam Hussein said in a letter to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who called for the Arab summit in Cairo on Oct. 21-22, that he would not be able to attend the gathering, but would send a representative. In the letter, Hussein said that though he would love to attend, he could not. "I apologize for circumstances of which you are aware," he said. "However, someone will represent me there, God willing." He was referring to efforts to arrest Hussein and have him indicted by an international tribunal. This is the first time Iraq will be participating in an Arab summit since 1990 when Arab leaders met in a hastily convened meeting to condemn Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. At the time, the leaders backed Western military deployment in the region to end the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. Iraq was not invited to the 1996 Arab summit that was held in Cairo to discuss the Arab-Israeli peace process after the Israeli election of former right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Arabs have been reluctant to convene such a high-level gathering due to differences over whether to invite Iraq because of opposition to that country from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. But Kuwait agreed to attend this month's summit, saying that a unified Arab position on the "Israeli massacre of Palestinians" was a priority for the emirate. Hussein was also quoted in his letter to Mubarak as cruising the delay in holding the "urgent" summit, saying that the Arab leaders "responsible for the delay in holding the summit will be questioned by the Palestinian people and nation over the delay in their efforts." He added: "If I put myself in the place of the citizen, I would probably say that I was imagining or waiting for you to decide on an immediate date rather than wait 20 days." http://www.brecorder.com/story/S00DD/SDJ11/SDJ11216.htm * LEBANON SEEKS JORDAN-TYPE OIL DEAL WITH IRAQ BAGHDAD (October 11) : Lebanon is seeking to clinch an oil agreement with Iraq similar to that between Iraq and Jordan, to provide Beirut with crude and oil products, the official INA news agency reported on Tuesday. "Lebanon wants to sign with Iraq an oil agreement similar to that Baghdad had reached with Amman to meet Lebanon's needs for crude oil and by-products," it quoted visiting Lebanese Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Resources Minister Suleman Traboulsi as saying. The agency said Traboulsi, who arrived in Baghdad on Monday, held talks with Iraq's Oil Minister Amir Muhammad Rasheed on "future formulas of oil co-operation and the possibility of signing an oil protocol." "Talks with Iraq's Oil Minister were frank and clear... we discussed means to upgrade oil co operation between the two countries," Traboulsi said. Sanctions-hit Iraq supplies Jordan with 4.8 million tonnes of crude oil and by-products annually under undisclosed concessionary terms that ease the burden on the kingdom's deficit-ridden budget. Iraq's oil supplies to Jordan are exempted from United Nations sanctions which ban Baghdad from freely exporting its oil as punishment for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. In 1996, the UN eased sanctions imposed on Iraq, allowing it oil sales over six months on a renewable basis to buy food, medicine and other relief items for its population. Relations between Iraq and Lebanon were re-established in 1998. Lebanon cut diplomatic ties with Iraq in 1994 after accusing Baghdad of killing an Iraqi opposition figure in Beirut.-Reuters http://www.gulf-news.com/11102000/GULF/gulf3.htm * SYRIA TO SEND SECOND PLANE TO IRAQ Damascus (Reuters) - Syria will send its second plane in three days to Baghdad today, carrying aid to Iraq despite UN sanctions, officials said yesterday. They told Reuters the plane's cargo would include school books, pens and exercise books donated by branches of the Arab Teachers Union. "We were originally planning to send this stuff by road to Iraq, but when Syrian President Bashar Assad heard about the move he ordered the state-run Syrian Air to provide us with a special plane," a union spokesman told Reuters. He said an official delegation, including representatives of Syria and several other Arab countries would also be aboard. Syria on Sunday sent its first plane to Baghdad in two decades in a further sign of improvement in ties between the two Arab neighbours following years of animosity. Several Arab and international planes have flown to Iraq in recent weeks despite sanctions imposed for the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Syria and Iraq, ruled by rival factions of the Baath Party, started to improve relations three years ago following nearly two decades of animosity caused by disagreements over Iraq's 1980-1988 war with Iran and the invasion of Kuwait. The two exchanged diplomatic representation recently, sending envoys to work at new interest sections at the Algerian embassies in both capitals. Officials said the Damascus office of the Iraqi airline would also reopen later this month, nearly two decades after it was shut. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=3913357&template=baghdad/inde xsearch.txt&index=recent * TURKEY TO OPERATE IRAQI PIPELINE The Associated Press, Wed 11 Oct 2000 ANKARA, Turkey (AP) ‹ Turkey is preparing to begin pumping full-force from an Iraqi oil pipeline to retaliate against a proposed U.S. resolution that describes the Turkish killings of Armenians during and after World War I as genocide, an official said Wednesday. In accordance with United Nations sanctions against Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Turkey has only been pumping limited oil from the pipeline, which runs from the Iraqi oil fields in Kirkuk to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Yumurtalik. Iraq can use the money from those sales to buy much needed food and medicine. But now Turkey is angry over a nonbinding resolution the U.S. House of Representatives is considering. It would place the Turkish government on record as saying that the Ottoman Empire killed 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923, when the Turkish republic was established. Turkey admits that Armenians were killed, but says the killings were not part of a planned genocide. It also says the death toll was much lower and that the Armenians were killed as the empire quelled unrest. Turkey has warned that U.S. recognition of the killings as genocide would harm relations between the close NATO allies. A team of experts was headed for Iraq for inspections, but it was not clear when the pipeline would be ready to operate. Turkey's move is likely to annoy the United States, which has been pressing for stricter enforcement of the U.N. embargo against Iraq. Turkey has threatened other retaliatory measures, including not renewing the mandate of U.S. forces patrolling northern Iraq. Reports have suggested that Turkey would open a second border gate with Iraq to resume trade relations. And a second Turkish plane carrying medical aid to Iraq left Turkey on Wednesday. Turkey has long complained that it has lost billions of dollars in trade with Iraq since sanctions were imposed a decade ago. Last week Turkey stopped issuing tourist visas to Armenians trying to cross the border between the two countries. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/10/11/us.iran.ap/index.html * U.S. CONGRESS MEMBERS SUPPORT GOALS OF IRANIAN RESISTANCE October 11, 2000 WASHINGTON (AP) -- A majority of House members, both Democrats and Republicans, issued an unusual "Statement of Iranian Policy" Wednesday, lauding the goals of an exiled opposition movement the State Department links to terrorism. Calling for a "firm policy against the Tehran regime," the members called for the U.S. government to align itself with the goals of the National Council of Resistance. The State Department lists the council as an alias for the Iraq-based Mujahedeen Khalq, which is considered a terrorist organization seeking the forceful overthrow of Iran's Islamic government. Soona Samsami, U.S. representative of the council, lauded the congressional action, saying a revolution is underway in Iran to overthrow the government led by President Mohammad Khatami, which Western governments view as more moderate than the ruling Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The congressional policy statement views Khatami and Khamenei as closely aligned. "Any talk of political openness or moderation is ill-advised," said the policy statement, citing suppression of student demonstrators, the closed-door trial of Iranian Jews and terrorist assault on dissidents abroad under Khatami. "It is only our support for the Iranian people's aspirations for fundamental change and the democratic goals of the National Council of Resistance that can contribute to the promotion of peace, human rights and stability in this part of the world," the House members said. The statement was signed by 228 members, about evenly divided between Democrats and Repubicans and including both liberals and conservatives. http://finance.individual.com/display_news.asp?doc_id=RTJ12a4772reuff&page=n ews * IRAQ SAYS WANTS EURO OIL PAYMENTS FROM NOV By Peg Mackey, October 12, 2000 LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - OPEC member Iraq wants customers lifting its U.N.-supervised crude oil exports to pay in euros starting in November, an oil official said on Thursday. Baghdad, which accounts for five percent of internationally traded crude, is consulting the United Nations about the possiblility of making the switch from dollar payments, the official added by telephone. ``Iraq this month has asked the U.N. to open another separate euro account in addition to the present dollar account,'' the official contacted in Baghdad said. ``From November all letters of credit for the exports must be opened in euros and payment made in euros,'' the official said. A Western diplomat said he did not anticipate any objections to the setting up of a euro account for Iraq, whose revenues from an oil-for-food deal with the United Nations are deposited in a dollar U.N. escrow account in a French bank in New York. ``If it's just a case of setting up a new account, I don't see why there would be a problem,'' he said. A major lifter of Iraqi crude oil said the potential euro payment switch ``shouldn't create a problem for anyone. They will just have to define the conversion rate.'' The Iraqi oil official said he knew nothing about any plan to halt oil exports if the United Nations declined to cooperate. Abdulillah Putrus, deputy governor of the Iraqi Central Bank, was quoted by the weekly al-Zawra as saying Baghdad might halt oil exports unless a bank account holding its U.N.- monitored revenues was changed from dollars into euros. The reported statement runs counter to an announcement by Iraqi Vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan at an OPEC summit in Caracas on September 28 that Baghdad would not hold back its crude from the world oil market. Asked what would happen if the United Nations declined to arrange euro payments, the Iraqi oil official in Baghdad replied: ``This is not my domain.'' The official said a clause stipulating payment in euros would be included in sale contracts for November loading crudes. ``We are still talking about November prices now. We have not notified our customers about anything directly,'' he said, adding: ``We do not anticipate any problems with our customers paying in euros.'' ``We are talking with the U.N. about this now.'' U.N. sources said in May that the Banque Nationale de Paris account had a record $7.8 billion from proceeds of Iraqi oil sales under the U.N. humanitarian oil exchange. Iraq exports of 2.2 million barrels per day at current prices earn about $57 million a day. The oil deal allows Iraq to sell oil over a six month period on a renewal basis to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people reeling under stringent U.N. sanctions imposed for Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Iraqi government decided late last month to halt trading with the dollar and replace it with the euro or any other currency. A statement by the Iraqi government after a September 14 cabinet meeting which originated dropping the dollar said the move was to confront the ``daily American-Zionist aggression.'' Reuters http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_968000/968834.stm * IRAQ WINS OPENING ASIAN CUP MATCH >From the newsroom of the BBC World Service, 12th October, 2000 The Asian Cup football tournament has kicked off in Lebanon with a comfortable two-nil win for Iraq over Thailand. Iraq's goals came from Qahtan Chatir and Haidar Mahmood in front of a sparse crowd. The twelve-day tournament is going ahead despite security concerns in Lebanon over escalating tension in the Middle East. Some three-thousand security personnel, including soldiers, are reported to have been assigned to the Asian Cup games. Lebanon play Iran later today. http://www.gulf-news.com/12102000/BUSINESS/business19.htm * TURKEY WORK ON IRAQ PIPELINE MUST BE UN-APPROVED New York (Reuters) - Turkey's proposal to bring Iraq's Mediterranean oil pipeline to full capacity is acceptable as long as it is done under auspices of the United Nations oil-for-food programme, Western diplomats said. Earlier yesterday, a senior Turkish oil ministry official said Ankara would declare the pipeline fully operational as a protest to a U.S. Congressional resolution embracing allegations of Turkish genocide against Armenians 85 years ago. Western diplomats say Washington and London wouldn't oppose increasing the pipeline's capacity from its current flow of about one million barrels per day (bpd) to between 1.5 million and 1.6 million bpd as long as all work on the pipeline was done with UN approval. UN officials say the pipeline won't be at full capacity for a year or so. The twin pipeline takes crude from the Kirkuk fields in northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. From there, tankers take the oil to the Mediterranean oil market. One of the parallel lines in Iraq has not worked since August 1990 when the pipeline was shut after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The Turkish official told Reuters a key metering station on the Iraqi side was already working so the pipeline's capacity can soon rise to 1.6 million bpd. "A team of pipeline officials from (Botas) is now in Iraq and they have reported that the pipeline's pumping station on the Iraqi side can pump at full capacity," he said. Diplomats say that any extra revenue from oil sales must also go into the oil programme fund. Iraq is authorized to export oil on the pipeline and expanding its volume is not against UN resolutions, several diplomats said. The U.S. Congressional resolution passed by a House of Representatives committee last week describes killings during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire as genocide. If passed by the full House, Turkey will act to restrain American interests in Turkey including the Incirlik airbase for sorties to enforce the no-fly zone over northern Iraq. Raad Alkadiri of the Petroleum Finance Co in Washington said "Iraq is the ideal place for Turkey to express their dissatisfaction with the Congressional decision. And, in that sense, they join a long and distinguished list of states that are using Iraq to tweak U.S. noses." http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_970000/970349.stm * IRAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS BAGHDAD Friday, 13 October, 2000, The Iranian Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharazi, is in Iraq -- the first such visit for more than a decade. Mr Kharazi flew to Baghdad despite the United Nations air embargo on flights to Iraq. Both sides have said they want to resolve all their outstanding differences following the end of their eight-year war in 1988. One of the issues to be discussed with his Iraqi counterpart, Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf, is Iraq's request to open an air corridor through Iranian air space so that Russia can resume direct flights to and from Moscow. In return Iran would be allowed to operate direct flight to Damascus through Iraqi air space. A full resumption of ties between Iran and Iraq has been held up by a number of issues, including an exchange of prisoners-of-war and the presence of opposition groups in each other's countries. >From the newsroom of the BBC World Service http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001013/2000101332.html Free! * SIGNING A CONTRACT FOR EXPORTING FOOD PRODUCTS TO IRAQ OF 100 MILLION L.E 10/13/2000 A contract was signed for exporting Egyptian food products to Iraq worth 100 million L.E (1 US dollar equals 3.50 L.E). Adel El-Shahawi, the head of the holding company for the Egyptian food industries, said that these products comprising 30,000 tones of Ghee and 7,000 tons of detergents as well as 6,000 of toilet soap. This contract was sent to the foreign ministry to pave for taking the necessary procedures for its ratification from the oil food committee affiliated to U.N. He added that it is expected to export these quantities before the end of coming January, clarifying that by implementing this transaction the total exports of the Egyptian food products to Iraq will reach 1,3 billion L.E. Egypt exported to Iraq food products of worth 1200 million L.E during the last 4 years. http://www.voila.co.uk/News/afp/int/001013180010.nyat4k09.html * FOUR SOLIDARITY FLIGHTS LAND IN IRAQ DESPITE UN AIR EMBARGO BAGHDAD (AFP, 13th october) - - Four solidarity flights landed in the sanctions-hit Iraqi capital on Friday despite a decade-old UN air embargo, officials said. Two Sudanese planes and a Lebanese aircraft touched down at Saddam International Airport carrying humanitarian aid as well as political delegations. Earlier the same day, Kamal Kharazi flew in for the first visit to the Iraqi capital by an Iranian foreign minister in 10 years. Social Affairs Minister Qotbi al-Mahdi led a delegation on one of the Sudanese planes, while the other carried six tonnes of medical aid, said Iraq's official news agency INA. It said a Boeing 707 cargo plane arrived from Lebanon with MP Mosbah al-Ahdab on board and 25 tons of aid for Iraq, which has been under sweeping sanctions including the air embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Lebanon and Sudan joined a long list of Arab countries to test the embargo, following Russian and French flights, since the reopening of Baghdad's airport on August 17. ... Trans Mediterranean Airlines (TMA) in Lebanon said its flight had UN authorisation, while the Sudanese planes were delayed by a day, as the United States warned Khartoum to wait for clearance from the UN sanctions committee. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=3964698&template=baghdad/inde xsearch.txt&index=recent * PASSENGERS FREED ON SAUDI PLANE The Associated Press, Sat 14 Oct 2000 BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) ‹ All the passengers on a hijacked Saudi plane were freed Saturday and the hijackers arrested, Iraqi state television reported. The plane was carrying 105 people on a flight from Saudi Arabia to London when the ¾„ õp¸_@ it over the¾ōpiterranean Sea, ordering it around the Middle East before landing in Baghdad. Details on how the hijacking was resolved were not immediately available. The Boeing 777 landed at Baghdad's Saddam International Airport about 8 p.m. local time, the official Iraqi News Agency reported. Speaking before the release, an Iraqi official in military uniform said the hijackers, who appeared to number four, said they seized the plane because they were upset over an investigation into the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia that was too favorable to the government. They also said they ordered the plane to fly to Baghdad because Iraq rejects ``U.S. hegemony,'' said the official, who was broadcast speaking on state television but not identified. State television said that passengers were taken to the airport lounge but did not provide information on their condition. Security at the Baghdad airport was tight, with guards turning away journalists. Ambulances, buses a fire engine and a fuel tanker went into the airport as reporters watched. The Iraqi Ministry of Culture and Information issued a statement saying ``the safety and security of the Saudi plane's passengers concerns us as if they were Iraqi citizens. Therefore, we reassure the families of the passengers that the Iraqi authorities will take of their relatives' safety and comfort to the maximum extent.'' Saudi Arabia and Iraq have had no relations since Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in 1990. A hijacker had at one point threatened to blow up the plane unless it was allowed to fly to Baghdad, Saudi officials said on condition of anonymity. Saudi Arabian Airlines officials in Jiddah said the plane had 90 passengers and 15 crew, led by an Ethiopian captain. The airline officials said the passengers were 40 Britons, 15 Saudis, 15 Pakistanis, four Yemenis, four South Africans, two Kenyans, and one each from France, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Oman, the Palestinian territories, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The plane was hijacked on its way to London, having taken off from Jiddah. Word of the hijacking first emerged in Cairo, Egypt: Egyptian civil aviation officials said the pilot radioed them at 3:55 p.m. local time to say the plane had been commandeered and the hijackers were insisting that it fly to Damascus, the Syrian capital. When it got there, the hijackers asked to land and were denied permission, Cypriot air traffic controllers said on condition of anonymity. Circling over the Mediterranean, the hijackers then asked to fly through Syrian airspace to Iraq, the Cypriots said. The Syrians initially refused but later changed their mind, Damascus air traffic controllers said, and the plane flew through Syria to Baghdad. Damascus airport officials speaking on condition of anonymity had said the plane landed in Damascus, but they later backed off of those statements, saying they were erroneous. The official Syrian Arab News Agency reported that the plane never landed in Damascus, but flew over Syria to Iraq. Baghdad's Saddam airport was reopened on Aug. 17, having been shut during the 1991 Gulf War. Regular flights to Baghdad are banned by the U.N. sanctions imposed since the invasion of Kuwait, but a series of planes have landed at Saddam airport in the past three weeks as France, Russia and a dozen Arab states sent delegations and humanitarian aid to Iraq. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=3971286&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * Hijackers: Saudi Gov't Is Corrupt The Associated Press, Sun 15 Oct 2000 BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) ‹ Two Saudis who hijacked a plane from their country to Iraq criticized their government as corrupt, undemocratic, and reliant on outsiders ‹ U.S. troops ‹ for its defense. Iraqi state television said high-ranking government officials negotiated with the two hijackers who brought London-bound Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 115 to Baghdad late Saturday. Some 100 passengers and crew spent the night at the Rasheed Hotel in the heart of the Iraqi capital. They were expected to return with their plane, a Boeing 777, to Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, later Sunday to catch another flight to London. Details of the negotiations were not released. The hijackers, who appeared to be in their late 20s, surrendered peacefully in Baghdad and later were allowed to speak briefly with reporters in a televised news conference. ``We want liberty, we want equality and justice,'' one of the men said. ``We want to choose our own leaders. The time of kings and monarchies is over,'' he said. The men also complained about human rights abuses, corruption and unemployment in the kingdom and said their message to the Saudi government was: ``Enough injustice.'' ``Saudi people cannot find work and they bring foreigners in to protect us. We can protect ourselves,'' said one of the men, who covered half of his face with a scarf. The last charge is particularly sensitive at a time when anti-U.S. sentiment is high in the region amid bloody Israeli-Palestinian clashes. Many Arabs believe the United States is biased toward Israel, but the Saudi government is a close U.S. ally and has allowed U.S. troop bases on its territory since the Gulf War. Saudi Arabia's Deputy Interior Minister Prince Ahmed said Sunday his country would demand the immediate extradition for trial of the two hijackers, whom he identified as Faisal al-Biloowi and Ayish al-Faridi. Hijacking carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. It is unclear whether Iraq would heed the Saudi demand. The countries have had no relations since Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait in 1990, but a pre-Gulf War treaty provides for extradition. Taher Haboush, the Iraqi official who led negotiations with the hijackers, said they had asked for political asylum. But in their news conference they denied they had requested asylum and said they would eventually like to leave Iraq. It wasn't immediately clear if the hijackers were armed or what other means they used to seize control of the aircraft. A hijacker had at one point threatened to blow up the plane unless it was allowed to fly to Baghdad, Saudi officials. Saudi officials said on condition of anonymity that al-Biloowi was an undercover security officer at the Jiddah airport and al-Faridi was a border guard. Airline officials said the passengers included 40 Britons, 15 Saudis, 15 Pakistanis, four Yemenis, four South Africans, two Kenyans, and one each from France, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Oman, the Palestinian territories, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. Among the passengers was 19-year-old Saudi Prince Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saad bin Abdul Rahman, who was on his way to London to study English. The prince, a cousin of Saudi King Fahd, was interviewed on state-run television late Saturday. The prince thanked the Iraqi government for the way it handled the crisis. It was the second hijacking in the Gulf in a month. On Sept. 14, an Iraqi man with a knife hijacked a Qatar Airways plane en route to Jordan and ordered it flown to Saudi Arabia. All 144 passengers and crew escaped unharmed when the man surrendered at the Saudi city of Hael. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/10/15/saudi.hijack.02/index.html * Hijack victims prepare to leave Iraq Released passengers wait at Baghdad airport, October 15, 2000 BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Passengers and crew from a hijacked Saudi Arabian plane are preparing to leave the Iraqi capital to continue their journey to London. However, before flying to England, they will first have to return to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian Airlines 777-200 had been expected to leave on Sunday morning but take-off was delayed by several hours. CNN correspondent Jane Arraf, in Baghdad, said the plane -- and all the luggage -- had to be checked, following claims by the hijackers that they had left a bomb on board. The 112 passengers and crew spent the night at the government-owned Al Rashid hotel in Baghdad after flying above the Middle East for more than seven hours on Saturday. No-one was injured and most did not even know that a hijacking was in progress until they landed at Saddam Airport. The two Saudis who commandeered the plane, shortly after it left Jeddah on Saturday afternoon, surrendered without a fight to the Iraqi authorities. They are still being detained. They said they had wanted to bring international attention to repression in Saudi Arabia. Iraqi security officials said the men specifically criticised the international human rights group Amnesty International for "covering up" human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. The men also said their actions had been prompted in part by the recent violence in the Middle East. "You can say that our Arabic and Muslim emotions were stirred after seeing our brothers in Palestine facing Israeli weapons with stones," said one. "We performed our operation with a belief in justice, freedom and equality... the basis of the human rights bill." The drama on board Flight 115 began just as the plane crossed out of Egyptian air space, when the hijackers announced their plan to the crew. The men initially demanded to be taken to the Syrian capital Damascus, according to an Egyptian aviation official, but the plane was denied permission to land there and flew on the Baghdad. Security officials in Iraq said the two requested a meeting with a Saudi representative but no Saudi diplomats are posted in Iraq since the two countries ended diplomatic relations following the 1991 Gulf War. Heavy security In interviews after leaving the plane, many passengers said they were not aware they had been hijacked until an announcement was made after the plane landed in Baghdad. The two hijackers hold a press conference "I looked out and saw sand by the runway, and I thought 'That's a little strange for London,'" said one passenger. Among the passengers were 40 people from Britain, 15 from Saudi Arabia and 15 from Pakistan. The passenger list also included people from France, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Oman, the Palestine territories, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and Yemen. Iraqi officials said a member of the Saudi royal family -- a 16-year-old prince -- was on board. They said he was under heavy security at the hotel with the other passengers. One passenger said there had been little or no security at Jeddah airport. "There wasn't any checking of our luggage or ourselves," Waqua Hussein told Britain's PA News. "I met the captain at the dinner table last night and he said they (the hijackers) had three bombs and one gun." Iraqi officials, however, said they had checked the plane and could find no evidence of a bomb. Britain's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook welcomed the release of the hostages but refused to thank the Iraqis for helping to end the crisis. "I would not thank any government for carrying out its clear international obligation to stop a terrorist hijack," he told a news conference in London. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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