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News, 22-29/10/00

NEWS, 22-29/10/00

The main development this week seems to have been the moves towards
conversion from the dollar to the euro but note also the bombing raid on
Monday and another incident this weekend. Note also the item on the Gulf War
payouts. These include "Yugoslavia [SIC ­ PB], $13.2 million; China, $12.3
million; Russia, $11.5 million; and South Korea, $11.2 million." So everyone
gets a cut. Flights to Baghdad airport have continued but though these are
important they're rather repetitive so I've only given URLs. The Supplement
is mainly interesting on general matters of US foreign policy and
international law.

*  Mesopotamia's 'city of graves' excavated
*  Western warplanes bomb Iraq no-fly zone, U.S. Says
*  Iraq discreetly slips back onto Arab scene
*  Iraq slams outcome of Cairo Arab summit
*  Pentagon says Iraqi troops not a threat to Israel
*  Japan turn on style to break Iraqi hoodoo [football special]
*  Kadhafi will be first Arab leader to return to Iraq, his daughter says
*  Proposals between Iraq and Iran to open borders
*  Remains of the missing Saudi pilot found?
*  Millions spent on Camp Saddam
*  Jordan to ditch dollar in trade dealings with Iraq
*  Iran halts normalization with Iraq
*  4,000 Iranian pilgrims to visit holy sites in Iraq per week
*  Oil rises on Iraq rumours
*  UN approves $1.27 billion payout to Gulf War claimants
*  UN: Euro Account for Iraq Feasible
*  Iraqi troop movements no threat: Israel
*  US Denies Plane Hit by Iraq
*  Iraq still a threat to region: Kuwait

*  Pak-Iraq oil & gas sector co-operation discussed
Business Recorder (Pakistan)

*  Lebanese delegation in Baghdad, 26th October

*  Syrian and Egyptian planes arrive in Baghdad today, 26th October

*  More Russian flights to Baghdad
BBC World Service, 27th October,1113,2-10
*  Ukraine, Turkey, Egypt defy Iraq embargo

SUPPLEMENT (sent separately)

*  U.S. To Pay Victims of Terrorism
*  Vietnam may ask US for wartime compensation
*  Decline of the UN Council
*  Surprise for Yemenis: Cole Blockaded Iraq
*  FBI Uses Light Touch in Yemen Blast Probe
*  Containing Iraq: A Forgotten War [on patrolling no-fly zones]
*  Iraqi troop movement causes tension in Mideast
*  U.S. military spread across 142 countries
*  The role for the US in UN peacekeeping [by Jeremy Greenstock, United
Kingdom's permanent representative to the United Nations]

KURDISH SUPPLEMENT (sent separately)

*  Britain says Iraqi Kurdish area is an example to Saddam
* Barzani, UK Foreign Office Minister Hain Hold Talks
* KDP's Ankara Representative Interviewed on Ties With PKK, PUK [Interview
with Safin Diza'i, Ankara representative of the KDP. Very informative.]
* PUK Concentrates Forces Near PKK Positions, Situation Tense
* Kurds battle daily for ethnic survival {quite useful general account of
situation in Turkey]
* Film Notes [A time for drunken Horses, by Kurdish film director, Bahman

*  Mesopotamia's 'city of graves' excavated
Times of India, 23/10/00

UMM AL-AJARIB, Iraq: Iraqi archaeologists are striving to bring to light
what they describe as Mesopotamia's largest "city of graves," where the
Sumerians buried their dead nearly 5,000 years ago.

The scientists are stunned by the size of cemetery and say much more work
needs to be done to determine what role it played in ancient times. "We have
never excavated anything like it before. It is unprecedented," said Fadhil
Abdulwahid, a Baghdad University archaeologist.
Remote and desolate, the site was long the target of grave robbers who the
scientists say pilfered gold ornaments, cylinder seals made of precious
stones and statuettes. Ancient Iraqis usually buried their dead with their
most valued possessions.

Chief archaeologist Donny Youkhanna could not say how many artifacts were
stolen nor estimate their significance, "but the damage is certainly big."
When he started excavations with 40 diggers last year he brought along armed

Previously, he said, few dared to approach the ancient mound due to the
large number of scorpions that lived among the graves, which prompted the
locals to name it Umm Al Ajarib or "mother of scorpions." Shells, bowls,
beads and handsome earthenware and statues dot small lanes in the cemetery
situated 400 km south of Baghdad.

"It is the largest graveyard of Sumer. Nowhere in ancient Iraq have we come
across so many graves," Youkhanna said.

Until now, experts had designated a cemetery at Eridu in southern Iraq as
the largest Sumerian burial ground. There, scientists uncovered 1,000 graves
in one sqkm.(AP)

*  Western warplanes bomb Iraq no-fly zone, U.S. says
October 23, 2000

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Western warplanes on Monday attacked military air
defense targets in a no-fly zone in northern Iraq after Iraqi forces fired
anti-aircraft guns at planes patrolling the area, the U.S. military said.

All of the U.S. and British planes involved in the exchange returned safely
to their base in nearby Turkey, according to a statement released by the
U.S. military's European Command based in Germany.

The statement said that the air attacks occurred after Iraqi forces fired
anti-aircraft guns at the planes from sites north of the city of Mosul.


*  Iraq discreetly slips back onto Arab scene
Bahrain Tribune, 23/10/00

BAGHDAD: By taking part in an Arab summit for the first time in ten years
this weekend in Cairo, Iraq has discreetly regained its place in the Arab
world, with some Arab leaders calling for an end to the embargo against it.

Baghdad¹s representative at the summit, Ezzat Ibrahim, vice- chairman of
Iraq¹s decision making Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), had meetings
with several Arab leaders, the first at this level since the Gulf War of

In particular, he met the Egyptian and Syrian presidents, Hosni Mubarak and
Bashar Al Assad respectively, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and the
vice-president of the United Arab Emirates, Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashed
al-Maktoum, the Iraqi press reported yesterday.

The vice-president of the CCR was representing Iraqi head of state Saddam
Hussein at the Cairo summit, which was also attended by senior Saudi and
Kuwaiti representatives, particularly hostile to Iraq.

Ibrahim also met Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, whose last trip to
Baghdad was back in February 1993, seven months before he signed the Oslo
accords with Israel on Palestinian autonomy, which Baghdad fiercely opposes.

As well as the Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied territories,
which was at the centre of the summit, the Iraqi official raised with his
discussion partners ³relations between Iraq and their respective countries,²
the press reported.

The meetings, made possible by the holding of the Cairo summit, came as
several Arab countries have recently been organising flights to Baghdad in
defiance of the aerial embargo.

These flights bringing humanitarian aid and Arab politicians, have been
organised as a sign of solidarity with Iraq, which has been subjected to a
range of sanctions since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

The lifting of sanctions was urged by ³at least four Arab heads of state,²
at Saturday¹s opening of the Cairo summit, the Bagdad press said, citing the
Jordanian monarch, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Sudanese head of
state Omar HassanAl Bashir, as well as Arafat.

³The Arab nation can no longer accept the embargo against the Iraqi people
and the threats against the territorial integrity and sovereignty² of Iraq,
King Abdullah said in published comments.

President Saleh called on ³Arabs to lift the embargo hurting the Iraqi
people, without waiting for a United Nations initiative,² while his Sudanese
counterpart called for ³serious action aimed at lifting² the embargo and
ending the suffering of the Iraqis.²

³The Arabs are called on to lift the embargo imposed on Iraq,² Arafat said
to those attending the Cairo summit. ­ AFP

*  Iraq slams outcome of Cairo Arab summit

BAGHDAD 24th October: Iraq has blasted Arab leaders for what it called their
"failing and vicious" summit which concluded in Cairo on Sunday.

A statement issued late on Sunday after a meeting of top Iraqi leaders
chaired by President Saddam Hussein also urged the Arabs to revolt against
their leaders specially the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Iraq's Gulf War foe.

"These are weak resolutions issued by a failing and vicious summit," said
the statement, carried by all Iraqi newspapers on Monday.

The outcome of the summit was "a poison in the Arab body and poisoning and
killing arrows directed against our Arab nations," the statement said.

The Cairo summit blasted "barbaric" Israel and vowed support for
Palestinians but failed to agree on concrete steps to punish the Jewish
state for over three weeks of violence that has killed 125 people, mostly

"Have you (Arab peoples) read the voice of failure from those who posted
themselves as kings and presidents to rule under your names?" the statement
said in reference to Arab leaders who took part in the summit.

"You should escalate struggle and 'jihad (holy war) in all its fields and
means against these rulers, particularly the rulers of Saudi Arabia who are
the core of (Arab) misfortune," the statement said.

The Iraqi press said that Iraq's delegation to the summit had expressed
reservations over the summit's final communique. Baghdad was represented at
the summit by Vice-Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council Izzat
Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz.

Ibrahim, in an opening speech, called for the "liberation of Palestine" from
the Israelis through Jihad (holy war).

*  Pentagon says Iraqi troops not a threat to Israel
October 24, 2000

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is still closely watching the
movement of Iraqi troops west of Baghdad but the move appears only to be
part of an annual training cycle, the Defense Department said Tuesday,

"We continue to pay very close attention to what they are doing," Rear Adm.
Craig Quigley, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters.

"Our best assessment is that it is, indeed, training activity and that they
have not postured themselves ... to do some threatening act toward any of
their neighbors," he added in response to questions.

Quigley said he did not agree with some assessments from Israel that Iraq
was massing troops along its border in support of Palestinians at odds with

"I can't speak to the motivation of placing them west of Baghdad as they
have," the spokesman said.

"But I would not agree with that (threatening) characterization," he
stressed. "There is a lot of Iraq to the west of where these forces are
located. And they don't have with them the essential elements of logistic
support that you would require in order to use them in an offensive or a
threatening manner."

"The movements seem to be local and training and administrative in nature,"
Quigley said.

The Pentagon said earlier this month that members of the 15,000-man division
had been moved out of their bases into an area west of Baghdad and that it
was watching the movement closely although it did not appear to be

*  Japan turn on style to break Iraqi hoodoo

BEIRUT (AFP) - - Japan came from a goal behind to outclass Iraq here on
Tuesday beating them 4-1 in their Asian Cup quarter-final and avenging the
2-2 draw in 1993 that robbed them of a place in the 1994 World Cup finals.

Japan, who were also recording their first ever win over the Iraqis in six
meetings, will meet China in a mouthwatering semi-final here on Thursday.

The freescoring Japanese, who coach Philippe Troussier has said need to win
this tournament to be regarded as a world force rather than just an Asian
power, scored through a double by Hiroshi Nanami and one apiece from Naohiro
Takahara - his fifth of the campaign - and right wingback Tomokazu Myojin.

The Iraqis, whose last minute goal in 1993 had eliminated the Japanese from
going to the United States, had taken the lead through playmaker Abbas Obeid

Myojin, who had run the Iraqi leftback ragged in the first-half, got on the
scoresheet himself with a sweet shot from the edge of the penalty area in
the 63rd minute to put any vain hopes the Iraqis had of a revival to sleep.

The Iraqis had briefly threatened to reduce the deficit to just one in an
early second-half rush of attacks.

Jassim, who is their only player plying his trade abroad with Korean outfit
Pohang, had forced a superb save out of Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi after latching
on to hardman Ziyad Tariq's longball over the defence.

Lone striker Qahtan Chatir, who scored in their opening match with Thailand,
was also inches away from scoring but just missed from Adnan Mohammed's low
cross three minutes into the second period.

Japan too had missed their opportunities Nanami having his hat-trick denied
him by a goaline clearance from his header.

The Japanese had been given a rude awakening when the splendid Jassim opened
the scoring in the fourth minute crashing home a 20-yard shot after Japanese
captain Ryuzo Morioka had failed to clear properly with his head.

However, they showed the class of champions by levelling within four minutes
working a beautiful freekick and totally fooling the Iraqi defence.

Rather than floating it into the box Shunsuke Nakamura played it sideways to
Nanami and he sent a searing effort past 'keeper Hashim Khamis.

Three minutes later Japan had taken the lead as Hiroaki Morishima, named the
'Robot' by Troussier and playing in absent Italy-based star Hidetoshi
Nakata's role, slipped the ball through Jassim's brother Haydar Obeid's legs
and Takahara executed it in fine style. Obeid was replaced a minute later.

Nanami, who had played in all three group matches so he could get near full
match fitness, turned on the style for the third in the 29th minute as he
spotted Khamis off his line and chipped him taking a slight deflection on
the way into the net.

Morishima, who scored in the 8-1 humiliation of Uzbekistan, should also have
got on the scoresheet but he headed the ball down from Myojin's curling
cross to the backpost and it was hacked off the line.

Takahara too had a shot cleared off the line but blotted his copybook when
he elbowed the hyperactive Tariq which went unseen by the referee - though
the shaven-headed Iraqi defender got his own back early in the secondhalf
when he callously brought him down from behind.

[I think Iraq is now out of the running so that's it for football fans, but
if you want to know about subsequent matches not involving Iraq, try:
*  Moment of truth for Japan as Asian Cup battle reaches semi-finals/Saudi
Arabia celebrate after scoring the golden goal against Kuwait  ­ this one
has a photo of the Saudi team answering a question that has been bothering
me. Do the Saudi team wear shorts? They do, but very long ones and very high
socks. Also:
*  Headcoach Talebi resigns. This is the headcoach of the Iranian team after
they were beaten by S.Korea]

*  Kadhafi will be first Arab leader to return to Iraq, his daughter says

[See also:
*  Libyan leader's daughter meets Saddam Hussein
Associated Press, October 22, 2000]

BAGHDAD (AFP, 24th October) - - Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi will be the
first Arab leader to return to Iraq despite international sanctions, his
daughter said in an interview published Tuesday.

Aisha Kadhafi, who spent two days in Baghdad after arriving on Saturday on
the first Libyan flight to the country in 10 years, said the colonel would
visit Iraq soon.

She told Al-Rafidain magazine: "My father has always worked for a radical
solution to the questions of sanctions on Iraq ... and, God willing, he will
soon be (in Iraq) for the first visit," of an Arab leader since the embargo
was enforced in 1990.

She met President Saddam Hussein on Sunday and "saluted the resistance of
the Iraqi people, and Iraqi women to American aggression," it said.

The Libyan plane, which brought a delegation and cargo of food and medicine,
left Baghdad for Tripoli on Sunday.

[I recommend a visit to this site for a photograph of Miss Khadafi which, in
my ignorance of the different varieties of 'image' that are possible for the
daughters of leading Muslim statesmen, took me by surprise ­ PB]

*  Proposals between Iraq and Iran to open borders
24th october

The London-based al-Wasat magazine said on Monday that Iran had proposed
during the visit held by the Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharazi recently
to Baghdad that Iraq to open its borders and airspace to Iran so as Tehran
can send weapons and even fighters to Syria in order to back it together
with Lebanon and the Palestinian uprising.

The magazine added that Kharazi's visit resulted in an " undeclared "
agreement to open Iraq's doors for the Iranian military aids for Hizbullah
and the Palestinian Intifada. Free!

*  Remains of the missing Saudi pilot found?
24Th October, 2000

The joint Iraqi- Saudi team which is carrying out a research operation in a
border area between the two states found parts of the plane and remains of a
person mostly expected to be for the missing Saudi Pilot.

An official source at the permanent mission of the International committee
of the Red Cross in Baghdad said on Monday " we are not sure whether these
remains are for the Saudi pilot Muhammad al-Nasera -- shot down during the
Kuwait liberation war -- before the completion of the necessary test by the
expert who accompanies the joint team as well as testing the engine to know
the type of the plane."

The source added that it is expected that the research operation for the
remains of the pilot will end successfully.

He explained that the work progress in the Sahara area which is located 60
Km from the borders into the Iraqi territories is much easier than expected
and every thing isrunning smoothly.

Last Saturday, the joint team led by representatives for the Red Crescent
started the search operation according to what was agreed upon following
two-day meetings in the Saudi area of Arar, at the Iraqi- Saudi borders by
the end of last week.,,24039,00.html

*  Millions spent on Camp Saddam
by Michael Evans, Defence Editor, the Times, 24th october

SADDAM HUSSEIN has built a huge lakeside resort complex for his family and
friends, including a safari park with deer and elephants, according to
intelligence reports sent to the Foreign Office.

Saddam City, as it has been dubbed ‹ or more correctly Saddamiat Al Tharthar
(That Which Belongs to Saddam at Tharthar Lake) ‹ is 85 miles west of
Baghdad. It is so big that it includes 625 homes for the Iraqi leader¹s
³favourites², Peter Hain, the Foreign Office Minister, said yesterday.

Mr Hain produced the latest evidence of Saddam¹s luxury life to highlight
the way in which his regime has siphoned off much of the revenue from the
$24 billion-a-year oil sales for himself and his cronies, rather than
provide food and medicine for the Iraqi people.
Intelligence gleaned from American satellite photos and other sources has
revealed, according to Mr Hain, that the resort has stadiums, an amusement
park, hospitals and the latest communications systems. Animals in the safari
park ³graze on lush vegetation grown with the latest irrigation systems²,
while the Iraqi population has to survive on unclean water supplies.

The exclusive ³city², which reportedly cost ³hundreds of millions of
dollars², was protected by Iraqi Special Forces, Mr Hain said. There was
also an elite security unit, called the Group of 40, which looked after
Saddam during his visits, arranging his parties and barbecues.

The United Nations carried out a survey of imports from March to September.
Its report showed that far from bringing in food for the Iraqi population,
under the agreed UN oil-for food humanitarian programme, Iraq imported more
than 300 million cigarettes, and each month 28,000 bottles of whisky,
230,000 cans of beer, 40,000 litres of vodka and almost 19,000 bottles of

Mr Hain said that a tiny percentage of the Iraqi people was benefiting from
³obscene decadence², while the rest of the population starved.

[See also:,3604,387094,00.html
*  Britain intensifies propaganda war against Saddam
by Richard Norton-Taylor, Tuesday October 24, 2000. nb This makes the
important observation that sinful items such as whiskey and cigarettes are
not imported under the Oil for-food programme. It does not draw the obvious
conclusion that therefore a) these items are not being subtracted from the
Oil for Food money available for humanitarian purposes and b) they are to be
subtracted from the 'illegal' - smuggling - fund available for the building
of weapons of mass destruction ­ PB]

*  Jordan to ditch dollar in trade dealings with Iraq
October 25, 2000

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Jordan has decided to stop using the U.S. dollar
in trade dealings with Iraq and replace it with the euro or another European
currency, the Iraqi state news agency INA reported on Wednesday.

The move is in response to Iraq's decision, announced in September, to stop
trading with the U.S. currency, head of the Jordan's Trade Centre in Baghdad
Ma'an al-Azizi told INA.
Announcing that decision, the official Iraqi news agency said it had been
taken to confront "daily American-Zionist aggression" against Iraq.

"Jordanian companies which have dealings with Iraq started to make offers to
Iraq with the euro or European currencies," al-Azizi said.

Al-Azizi said Jordan's Trade and Industry Minister Wasef Azzar would head a
150-strong delegation of businessmen to Baghdad on Monday to participate in
Baghdad International Fair, which opens on November 1.


*  Iran halts normalization with Iraq
Wednesday, 25 October 2000

TEHRAN, Iran, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Iran is halting efforts to normalize
relations with neighboring Iraq following an attack on a Tehran residential
area by Iraq-based Iranian dissidents, state run radio said Wednesday.

The attack, involving mortars, was staged by the Mujahedeen Khalq and took
place recently, it said. No one was reported injured, but additional details
were not disclosed.

The Mujahedeen Khalq has claimed responsibility for a series of mortar
attacks in Iran since the beginning of the year.

Iran Radio said the decision to stop normalization efforts was made by
Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

Officials said they were dismayed that Iraq had failed to respond positively
to Tehran's request that it stop its support for the dissidents. The request
was made last week by Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, who traveled to
Baghdad to meet with President Saddam Hussein.

Iraq has not responded to the Iranian decision.

Iran, which fought Iraq from 1980 to 1988, had "shown good will towards
reconciliation with Iraq, but Baghdad has not responded in kind," officials
said, according to the radio. The Mujahedeen attack "showed Iraq's ill-will
and determination not to resolve our pending problems."

Kharrazi was the highest ranking Iranian official to visit Iraq since Iran's
1979 Islamic revolution. The visit was seen by analysts as a signal that
Iran was prepared to defy international sanctions imposed against Iraq by
the U.N. following Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Iraq in the past has criticized Iran for harboring and supporting Iraqi
opposition groups. --

*  4,000 Iranian pilgrims to visit holy sites in Iraq per week

Kermanshah, Oct. 26, IRNA -- Governor of western border city of
Qasr-e-Shirin Esfandiar Zakeri said here Thursday that more pilgrims  would
be dispatched to holy sites in Iraq following talks between Iranian and
Iraqi officials. Zakeri told IRNA that under agreements reached between the
two  countries, 4,800 Iranian pilgrims can leave the country for Iraq a
week to visit holy sites. Formerly 3,000 Iranian pilgrims were allowed to
visit the holy  shrines in Iraq, he added. Zakeri said each Iranian pilgrim
would stay in Iraq for eight  days by paying dlrs 435. The Iraqi government
closed Manzarieh crossing point to Iranian  pilgrims on July 30 this year.,1466,2-8-21_931715,00.html

*  Oil rises on Iraq rumours
26th October

Dubai - The price of oil spiked upwards again towards $32 a barrel on
Thursday following a report that Iraq could soon halt crude deliveries
because of a dispute over currency payments with the United Nations,
analysts and dealers said.

A barrel of Brent North Sea benchmark crude for December delivery advanced
47 cents to $31.85 a barrel, before easing slightly.

Prices had fallen on Wednesday, with Brent closing at $31.38 while in New
York a barrel of light sweet crude slipped to $32.96.

But on Thursday, the market found its feet again as investors digested a
report in the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) that Iraq could halt oil

Iraq is likely to suspend oil exports from November 1 if the United States
objects to a proposal by Baghdad that it be paid in euros rather than in
dollars, an Iraqi source said on Thursday.

"Iraq is unlikely to implement oil contracts if the United States objects to
euro payments for Iraqi oil and Baghdad insists payment be made in euros,"
an Iraqi source told Reuters.

"I see a problem," he added. "This is a political issue and not a technical

He indicated any suspension would be from November 1.

The United Nations sanctions committee will meet on October 30 to discuss a
proposal from Iraqi oil marketer SOMO that from November 1 all letters of
credit for crude oil payment must be opened in euros rather than dollars.

The committee, which is to receive a written report by Thursday from U.N.
staff on the issue, is split on whether it should allow the switchover to
euros or even whether the committee has any right to weigh in on the matter,
diplomats in New York have said.

>From a practical perspective, lifters of Iraqi barrels have seen no problem
with the switch from dollar payment to euros but are worried about becoming
bogged down in a procedural wrangle.

Baghdad has been exporting about 2.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in
the current eighth phase of the UN oil-for-food exchange. The eighth phase
ends December 5. Iraq's oil exports at current prices fetch around $60m a

Oil-for-food revenues are currently deposited in a dollar UN escrow account
at Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) in New York. That account, after nearly
four years of the programme, now stands at around $10bn, said industry

But BNP cannot issue a new, standard euro format for letters of credit until
instructed to do so by the United Nations, customers said.

Those lifting Iraqi barrels in the early days of November must now get the
necessary UN mandated paper work in place.

Some industry sources have said Washington, dead set against euro payment,
was proving the main stumbling block at the UN.

But Baghdad was also playing politics as well, they added.

The Iraqi government decided last month to halt trading with the dollar and
replace it with the euro or any other currency.

Baghdad has said the move was to confront the "daily American-Zionist
aggression," an apparent reference to US support for sanctions.

The UN oil-for-food deal lets Iraq 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 UN sanctions imposed for Baghdad's 1990
invasion of Kuwait.

*  UN approves $1.27 billion payout to Gulf War claimants

GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- A special United Nations commission
handling claims stemming from the Persian Gulf War on Thursday agreed to pay
out $1.27 billion to 38 governments and international organizations for
distribution to more than 1,500 claimants.

As part of the "oil-for-food" formula approved by the U.N. Security Council,
the awarding of claims by the Compensation Commission is funded by the sale
of Iraqi oil and oil products on the world market. The compensation body
receives 30 percent of revenue generated from the sales. The latest payment
brings the total amount of compensation to date to $9.4 billion.

A threefold increase in world oil prices coupled with the Security Council's
decision last December to lift the ceiling on the amount of crude that Iraq
exports has substantially increased funds flowing into the commission's

"As prices go up the amount that flows to the commission automatically
increases," a senior commission official said.

The Geneva-based commission said the approved payment includes $1 billion to
cover claims by companies and other private entities and $130.4 million for
claims by governments and international organizations. The payment also
includes more than $136 million for individual claims.

Kuwait received most of the payments -- more than $1 billion - with $825.8
million for corporations, $127 million or individuals and $86.2 million for
government claims.

Other countries that received substantial amounts in corporate claims
include the United States with $37 million; Yugoslavia, $13.2 million;
China, $12.3 million; Russia, $11.5 million; and South Korea, $11.2 million.

*  UN: Euro Account for Iraq Feasible

UNITED NATIONS (AP, 27 Oct 2000) ‹ The United Nations outlined a plan Friday
that would meet Iraq's request for oil payments in the common European
currency, but it said the system could cost millions of dollars that would
otherwise go to Iraqi humanitarian needs.

A report from the U.N. Treasury Department said the Security Council's
sanctions committee and the U.N. secretary-general's office should study the
Iraqi request further because of its significant expected costs and other
technical questions.

Nevertheless, the United States and Britain, which take the hardest line
against Iraq in the Security Council, have said they will not oppose
creation of a euro-based account. And diplomats said Friday that the
proposal would likely go ahead.

Iraq, which exports about 2.2 million barrels of oil a day, has threatened
to halt exports beginning next week if its proposal isn't accepted ‹ a
warning that has put additional pressure on the tumultuous oil market and
sent prices up 2 percent Thursday.

Crude for delivery in December was trading down Friday, however, primarily
on worries that OPEC will release an additional 500,000 barrels into the
market. In trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude was down 48
cents to $33.21.


A report Friday from the U.N. Treasury Department found that a shift to the
euro would be possible, with U.N. sanctions committee approval, but
``cumbersome'' and would incur additional costs.

Because Iraq would continue pricing its oil in dollars ‹ which is how oil is
bought and sold internationally ‹ the program would have to swallow
undetermined currency conversion costs, the report found.

New staff would be needed to chart the fluctuations of the euro, and the aid
program's finances would be exposed to greater risks on investments because
of the euro's volatility, the report said. The euro is trading at about 84
cents to the dollar, about 28 percent off its value when it first launched
back in January 1999.

Interest rates on euro accounts are almost 2 percentage points lower than on
dollar accounts, meaning the program would lose about $185 million annually
in interest on a $10 billion account, the report found.

Iraq currently has about $10 billion in its Paribas account, which has
earned $541 million in interest that has been put towards buying additional
humanitarian goods, the report said.

``Given the magnitude of the issues, adequate time should be provided to
ensure the protection of the funds and the continued supply of humanitarian
goods to Iraq,'' the report concluded.

The sanctions committee is expected to meet Monday.

French officials have said they don't believe the committee needs to approve
the Iraqi proposal, saying the U.N. secretary-general's office has the
authority to create the euro account.

See also:
*  Iraq Starting Euro Oil Contracts
Las Vegas Sun, 27th October

*  U.N. asks Iraq to delay Euro proposal for oil program
Reuters, October 27, 2000

*  Iraqi troop movements no threat: Israel
Business recorder (Pakistan)

JERUSALEM (October 28) : Israel's army chief said on Friday he did not
believe the movement of Iraqi troops west of Baghdad posed a threat to

Lieutenant-General Shaul Mofaz predicted the troops would return to base

"I do not see the Iraqis at this point as a threat to the state of Israel
and I imagine that in light of the results of Israeli army action and the
strength of the Israeli army they will also return soon to where they came
from," he said.

"They know that we will also respond if there will be a need and I don't
attribute excessive importance to this movement of the Iraqis," Mofaz said.


*  US Denies Plane Hit by Iraq
People's Daily (China), October 29, 2000

The United States Saturday denied claims by Iraq that its air defense forces
had hit a Western plane which invaded the southern part of the country.

"The Iraqi claim is not true," U.S. National Security Council spokesman P.J.
Crowley said.

He made the comments after Iraq announced Saturday that its forces hit a
Western plane patrolling the so called no-fly zone in the south of the

"Our brave air defenses have hit one of the aggressors' planes," an Iraqi
military spokesman was quoted as saying.

He said a total of 62 sorties of U.S. and British planes invaded southern
Iraq Friday and Saturday.

The plane was hit Saturday, the Iraqi military spokesman said.

*  Iraq still a threat to region: Kuwait

KUWAIT (Reuters, October 29) : Kuwait said on Saturday that its "evil"
former occupier Iraq continued to pose a threat to oil-rich Gulf Arab

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah also demanded Baghdad's full
implementation of Gulf crisis-related UN resolutions.

In an address read in parliament at the start of a new term the emir said
recent Iraqi statements and acts should kill any "illusions" by some
countries about the true "evil and aggressive intent of the Iraqi regime
towards Kuwait and regional states".


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