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News, 19-25/11/00 The main element this week seems to be the confrontation between William Cohen and Igor Ivanov. Ivanov wants a system of security co-ordination which would include Iraq and, implicitly, threaten Israel; Cohen wants a system of security co-ordination against Iraq. there is also the re-opening of the pipeline to Syria; and the continuing question whether or not Iraq will reduce its oil output, thus still further raising prices. The discussion articles in the News supplement do not add much to what we know but generally support the anti-sanctions cause. I have added a special supplement mostly on sanctions elsewhere, most interesting with regard to Afghanistan. Any complaints about the News this week should be addressed not to the place from which it has been sent but to me at email@example.com * Bulgarian Politicians Land In Baghdad * Russian FM calls for ³regional security system² with return of Iraq * Iran blasts Cohen for U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf * Iraq pays Israeli farmers $7.9 million in Gulf War damages * Mercy plea for Kuwaiti man convicted of treason [head of the Iraqi installed government¹ of Kuwait] * U.S. has no Saudi assurance on oil supply hike [in event of Iraq radically reducing oil supplies] * Iraq seeks economic unification¹ with neighbors [fertile crescent¹ poposal of an Iraqi-Syrian-Jordanian-Lebanese alliance, mentioned in last week¹s news] * Cohen: Sanctions can be lifted even with Saddam in power [this article is especially interesting on US-Jordanian relations] * Russia says it lost $30 billion through anti-Iraq sanctions * Turkomans seeking unity in north Iraq meeting * Iraq may allow U.N. inspectors back -- Saudi paper * Iraq set to resume Syria oil exports * Iraq denies oil exports to Syria * UN: Iraq denies its exporting oil to Syria, but plans pipeline * Washington's new archbishop -- a foreign affairs specialist * Iraqi Marsh Homeland Can Be Restored, Says UK MEP * Iraq submits low December crude prices, UN resists * Over 15,000 war veterans died of chemical weapons syndrome [Iran suing the Us for supplying chemical weapons to Iraq] * Lack of clearance grounds first scheduled Baghdad flights [from the UAE] * Switzerland opens mission in Iraq * Iraq threatens halt to oil exports * India favours lifting sanctions against Iraq * Russia-Belarus Slavneft to sign upstream Iraq deal * [Syrian delegation to Baghdad] URLs ONLY: http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4497956&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * 1.7 million Iraqis parade in support of Palestinians UPI, Mon 20 Nov 2000 http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4515018&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * Iraq Claims To Hit Enemy Warplane¹ BAGHDAD, Iraq (Associated Press, Tue 21 Nov 2000) NEWS SUPPLEMENT, 19-25/11/00 (sent separately) * Analysis: Iraqi sanctions solution nearer * Arabs more willing to work with Iraq * Inside the Pariah's den * Kurds face nightmare of mines * Voucher system fails to halt rise in asylum applicants [largely owing to big influx of Iraqis] SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT ON SANCTIONS, 19-25/11/00 (sent separately) * U.S., Russia work for Afghanistan sanctions * Afghanistan: the way out * US, Russia face opposition to extra Afghan sanctions * US stance on Osama is not tenable * US imposes missile sanctions on Pakistan * Lockerbie prosecution leaves a 'gaping hole' * U.S. threatens sanctions against Russia [for arms sales to Iran] * Russia ignores US warnings of sanctions over Iran http://centraleurope.com/news.php3?id=221906 * Bulgarian Politicians Land In Baghdad BAGHDAD, Nov 19, 2000 (Reuters) A group of Bulgarian politicians, doctors and businessmen landed in Baghdad on Saturday in the first direct flight from Sofia to sanctions-bound Iraq in a decade, the official Iraqi news agency INA said. INA said the Bulgarian TU-154 landed at the recently reopened Saddam International Airport in the afternoon, carrying a 97-member delegation. The delegation includes members of parliament, former Bulgarian ministers, members of political parties, university professors, doctors, business figures and a number of Iraqis resident in Bulgaria. ³The motive of the visit is to express solidarity with the Iraqi people and to celebrate with them the end of the illegal air embargo imposed on Iraq,² INA quoted Vidanov as saying on arrival. The delegation was received at the airport by parliament¹s deputy speaker Hamid Rashid al-Rawi and members of parliament. [.....] http://www.voila.co.uk/News/afp/int/001119165054.41sp32t1.html * Russian FM calls for ³regional security system² with return of Iraq KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - - Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Sunday he held talks with Kuwaiti officials on a new ³security system² that would bring together Iraq and its Gulf neighbours. ³It¹s a regional security system,² he said before travelling on to Saudi Arabia, the last stop of his Middle East tour, ahead of US Defence Secretary William Cohen, whose country has security pacts with the oil-rich Gulf Arab monarchies. ³It includes a series of steps, starting with full respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states and renouncing the use of force,² Ivanov told reporters. During a two-day visit, Ivanov met the emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and also held talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. ³The system must take into consideration the interests of all countries in the region and for this reason it is important to hold consultations with all sides. We have detailed our proposals to the Kuwaiti leadership,² Ivanov said. The system must be guaranteed by the international community, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, he said. Ivanov, whose country supports a lifting of the UN sanctions on Iraq imposed after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, said the system could take years to set up, but this ³will not be a substitute for the settlement of the Iraqi issue² which was separate. The Russian foreign minister proposed to Kuwait that for Iraq to play an active role in the system, it must be reinstated in the world community, a foreign diplomat told AFP. But Cohen, following in Ivanov¹s footsteps, said in Kuwait later the same day that the Russian official had apparently encouraged Kuwait to halt its support for the enforcement of ³no-fly² zones over Iraq, a proposal he slammed. ³Ivanov got a cool response from the Kuwaiti authorities,² whose bases the US air force uses as well a Saudi air base and carriers in the Gulf to enforce a zone over southern Iraq, according to a US official travelling with Cohen. Ivanov denied he was mediating between Iraq and Kuwait, saying ³our efforts aim at defusing tension in the Gulf to achieve security and stability.² Sheikh Sabah also said it was not a case of Russian mediation between the emirate and its former occupier Iraq, whose troops were evicted by a US-led coalition in the 1991 Gulf War. ³I affirm that there is no Russian mediation, but an effort to make the Gulf a stable and quiet region,² he said. ³This is in the interest of all sides.² http://news.excite.com/news/r/001119/19/news-mideast-cohen-dc Saudi Arabia Says Iraq Should Comply with UN by Tabassum Zakaria RIYADH (Reuters, November 19, 2000) - Saudi Arabia would be the first to call for an end to U.N. sanctions against Iraq and bring it back into the Arab fold if it complied with U.N. resolutions, Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdullah Al-Aziz said on Sunday. If Iraq complied with U.N. Security Council resolutions, ³then you can be sure that we would be the first people to call for lifting sanctions on Iraq,² Sultan said at a joint press conference with Defense Secretary William Cohen. Cohen, on a nine-stop tour of the Gulf and Middle East, has been reiterating U.S. policy that U.N. sanctions on Iraq should continue unless Iraq allows weapons inspectors to return. ³And when we are certain that Iraq is doing so, and does not have incorrect weapons, then Iraq will be a friendly brother country,² Sultan said, according to a U.S. embassy translator. In his last visit to the region as defense secretary, Cohen also met King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah with whom he discussed the Middle East peace process, U.S. elections, and terrorism. Asked whether he was comfortable with the amount of U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, Sultan replied: ³We don¹t have any American troops in the Kingdom.² ³What we have now is only the embargo planes which were put in place by the coalition countries,² for patrolling the Western imposed no-fly zone in southern Iraq, he said. ³The aim of these planes is not aggression against Iraq, but to serve peace and stability in Iraq and the neighboring countries,² Sultan said. Saudi Arabia is currently not considering any new weapons deals, Sultan said. ³We are not thinking of any new weapons deals. We are now thinking to build Saudi society scientifically and industrially and agriculturally and commercially. Saudi Arabia has enough to defend itself.² Asked whether he believed U.S. foreign policy favored Israel over the Palestinians, Sultan replied: ³I think the U.S. under the leadership of President Clinton is seeking world peace, especially in the Middle East. The question of who is biased or not biased is not a useful question. It has no use to anybody.² [.....] SEE ALSO: http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4484414&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * Cohen: Kuwait rejects Russian overtures on Iraq UPI, Sun 19 Nov 2000 http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4484411&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * Iran blasts Cohen for U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf UPI, Sun 19 Nov 2000 Iran criticized remarks by U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen on Sunday describing the deployment of U.S. soldiers in the Persian Gulf as ³irresponsible and insolent.² The Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi who accused Washington of further destabilizing the region with the continued American presence, which grew significantly after Iraq¹s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Cohen, who is on a tour of the Gulf states and the region, told American soldiers based in Qatar on Saturday that the U.S. presence in the region was to avoid possible terrorist attacks, and that it gave a ³level of comfort² to the regional states. Asefi said that while the United States ³defends the Zionist regime (Israel) and its atrocities against the Palestinians, which is a token of terrorism, it is not entitle to accuse other states of terrorism and set conditions for them.² He added that the countries in the region ³can bring security to the area under the auspices of convergence, participation and cooperation.² Iran has repeatedly called on the Arab Gulf countries to close down the U.S. military bases and has been seeking security cooperation with its neighbors. The Iranian spokesman said: ³Despite claims by American officials, the two destructive wars in the region in recent years bear enough testimony to the baselessness of their self-declared responsibility for regional security,² in apparent reference to the bloody 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and the 1991 Gulf war. http://www3.haaretz.co.il/eng/scripts/article.asp?mador=2&datee=11/20/00&id= 101319 * Iraq pays Israeli farmers $7.9 million in Gulf War damages by Amiram Cohen, Ha¹aretz Agriculture Correspondent, Monday, November 20, 2000 The government of Iraq has paid $7.9 million to Israeli flower and vegetable growers in compensation for damages suffered during the 1991 Gulf War. The Justice Ministry, which is handling the claims submitted by Israelis against the Iraqi government, informed the vegetable and flower growers that the Geneva-based UN Compensation Commission has transferred the funds to the Finance Ministry. The flower and vegetable growers submitted 91 compensation claims for damages resulting from their inability to work their fields and export their produce during the war. The secretary of the Flower Growers¹ Association, Avraham Daniel, said that the flower growers had submitted claims totaling $8 million. The UN commission approved $5.6 million of this sum, as well as the entire $2.3 million requested by the vegetable growers. The treasury will transfer these sums to the farmers during the coming days, minus a three percent fee for handling these claims. http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_121052.html?nav_src=newsIndexHeadline * Mercy plea for Kuwaiti man convicted of treason Appeal court judges are being asked to have mercy on a Kuwaiti man sentenced to death for heading a puppet government set up by Iraqi invaders during the Gulf War. A criminal court upheld Alaa Hussein¹s 1993 conviction and sentence in May and a lower appeals court upheld the treason conviction and death sentence in July. His lawyer told the hearing that Hussein should be psychologically evaluated before the appeal proceeds. The judges have set another hearing for December 18. Hussein appeared before the appeals judges to repeat that he did not believe he had betrayed his country. ³I was a war prisoner under duress just like the rest of the guys² in the puppet Cabinet he headed, Hussein told the judges. Other members of the puppet government returned to Kuwait a decade ago after the Gulf War that ended the Iraqi occupation and were cleared of any wrongdoing. Many of them told the criminal court that Hussein was as confused as they were in the beginning, but as the days went by, seemed to enjoy issuing orders and did not look happy when Kuwait was freed. Hussein lived in Iraq, Turkey and Norway before returning to Kuwait in January, saying he wanted to prove his innocence. He had been convicted of treason and sentenced to death in absentia in 1993, two years after Kuwait was liberated and three years after Iraq¹s invasion. Hussein, then an army reservist, was taken prisoner while driving his car to an army camp where Kuwaiti troops were assembling to defend their country after the 1990 Iraqi invasion. Hussein had said in the criminal and the appeals courts that although his mother was Iraqi and he studied at a Baghdad university before the invasion, he had no connections to the ruling Baath Party and no idea why he was chosen to head the puppet Cabinet. http://finance.individual.com/display_news.asp?doc_id=RTK19a5473reuff&page=n ews * U.S. has no Saudi assurance on oil supply hike by Michael Georgy RIYADH, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said on Sunday that Washington had not secured assurances from close ally Saudi Arabia that the kingdom would boost oil output at its next meeting in January to cool soaring prices. ``They have not made a commitment to increase production at the next OPEC meeting,¹¹ Richardson told Reuters in an interview. Richardson speaking while the world¹s leading oil producers and consumers were about to wrap up a meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh on ways of stabilising the market, gripped by high prices for months. The U.S. Energy Secretary, who has used aggressive oil diplomacy to secure previous OPEC output hikes, said Washington wanted another supply increase because crude and home heating oil stocks were still low ahead of the peak demand winter season. Richardson said the United States, the world¹s biggest oil consumer and the leading Saudi customer, believed Riyadh would consider opening up its crude taps wider if prices stay too high. ``We are encouraged that they have said if the market continues to have such bad signals at $34 a barrel then they would clearly push for an increase,¹¹ he said. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has increased production four times this year in a protracted war against oil prices that refuse to fall below $30 a barrel. Saudi Arabia, by far the world¹s biggest oil exporter, holds the vast majority of OPEC¹s spare production capacity and has said it would act alone of other producers did not have the muscle to release extra barrels and it sees a supply shortage. But oil traders are still trying to gauge how much extra oil has penetrated the market because Saudi Arabia was already pumping about 500,000 barrels per day over its OPEC output ceiling when the cartel raised production in early November. ``The Saudis have indicated to me that they have extra capacity and I believe them,¹¹ said Richardson. Consumers like the United States fear that sustained high prices would fuel inflation and damage economic growth, the kind of concerns that have been discussed in the Riyadh talks. Asked if he was satisfied with Saudi assurances of a production hike, Richardson said: ``Well, we want to see an output increase. We think that there should be a production increase based on low crude oil stocks and low home heating oil stocks.¹¹ High fuel prices were an explosive issue during the U.S. presidential election campaign and are still alarming officials like Richardson who want extra crude at an affordable price to guarantee ample heating oil stocks to satisfy demand in the winter. ``I think we cannot get used to $30 oil. We need to attack that number aggressively as producers and consumers and I think that¹s a consensus that¹s emerging in this conference,¹¹ Richardson said. ``Right now we are focusing on dealing with our own home heating oil stock situation,¹¹ he said. ``Because of the swap (emergency oil reserves release) and the building of inventories, we have made some progress in averting a potential supply disruption in the northeast.¹¹ He reiterated that the United States was keeping open the option of authorising another release from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) but ``there is no immediacy to a decision.¹¹ Asked if he was concerned that Saudi Arabia and other major Gulf Arab producers would come under pressure to use the oil weapon and suspend crude supplies to Israel¹s Western allies to protest against Israel¹s killing of Palestinians in Middle East violence, Richardson said: ``In the discussions this morning, there was a general view that oil would not be used as a weapon. We were encouraged by those statements. We see no evidence of any linkages between the Middle East situation and oil supplies.¹¹ Turning to oil market maverick Iraq, which has threatened to disrupt its crude supplies in recent weeks, Richardson played down fears of any supply gaps from the OPEC producer which sells its crude under tight United Nations supervision. ``Iraq continues to produce these little irritations but somehow the matter seems to resolve itself...If they are playing games there are other Gulf states that will fill in the gap created by Iraq¹s actions,¹¹ he said. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4497957&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * Iraq seeks economic unification¹ with neighbors UPI, Mon 20 Nov 2000 Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tarek Aziz called Monday for economic unification with three neighboring Arab countries and said his country would not stand idle before Israeli attacks against Arabs. Aziz told Lebanon¹s As Safir newspaper that it was time for achieving ³economic unification² among Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. ³Circumstances are appropriate to achieve such a unification, especially amid the many incentives to reach rapprochement among the Arab countries, the joint mutual benefits and the absence of political obstacles,² he said. He referred to Turkey, which ³is keen to maintain close economic ties with Iraq, whereby trade exchange between the two countries reach $1 billion,² despite their ³numerous political differences and the fact that western warplanes take off daily from Turkish bases² to bombard Iraq.² Aziz noted that Iraq¹s relations with Syria had improved during the past few years and said that resuming the pumping of Iraqi oil via Syrian territories ³is a matter of days.² He emphasized the importance of ³improving economic and political ties between Syria and Iraq,² referring to ³wide horizons for especially economic dealings.² As for Jordan, Iraq offers oil assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars and he said it was ready for the same deal with Lebanon ³as Iraq needs goods and services that Lebanon offers while Lebanon needs oil that Iraq possesses.² He said the U.N. embargo on Iraq began to fall down despite U.S. objections ³because we have good ties with various countries in the world and most Europeans come to us for establishing economic relations.² On the continued clashes between Israeli forces and the Palestians in the occupied territories, Aziz said ³explosion is likely in the region and the confrontations will not be limited to the neighborhoods of Jerusalem and the cities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.² ³This is natural and Iraq have a role in this as it cannot stand idle before Israeli aggression against the Arabs,² he said. ³Iraq is in the heart of the struggle with the Zionist enemy and is paying now the price of its stand against Israel.² http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=137806 * Cohen: Sanctions can be lifted even with Saddam in power by Pamela Hess CAIRO, Egypt, Nov. 21 (UPI) Saddam Hussein does not have to give up power in Iraq for U.N. sanctions on him to be lifted, Defense Secretary William Cohen told the prime minister of Jordan, who just returned from meeting with the Iraqi president and his Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Baghdad. Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb told Cohen that Iraq has a ³sense the sanctions will never end as long as Saddam Hussein is in power,² said Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon after the meeting Tuesday. ³Cohen said if he complies with U.N. Security Council resolutions they will end, but there is no sign of that happening.² Cohen also met with King Abdullah II and Jordanian military chiefs. Despite the high level contacts between the Iraq and Jordan, Bacon said Jordan still supports the sanctions which have been in place for almost a decade. Jordan supported Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War, a fact that still affects its relationship with other Arab nations, especially the Gulf countries Cohen has been visiting for the past week. But Jordan is just one of a number of countries that seems to be softening its stand toward Iraq. While Cohen said all the nations he has visited on his ninth and last trip through the region as secretary of defense have reaffirmed their commitment to containing Saddam Hussein¹s military and to U.N. sanctions, many of the countries are showing signs of cracking. Jordan was considering restarting commercial flights into Baghdad, according to a leading Egyptian newspaper. Iraq claims it is already a done deal, with three flights a week to begin in December. A number of countries, including Ireland, attended an international trade fair in Baghdad this month, and there have been several flights of humanitarian goods into Iraq that were not approved by the United Nations. Syria has planned to reopen its embassy in Baghdad and during the Organization of Islamic Countries conference in Qatar last week several U.S. allies in the Gulf, including Qatar, were working behind the scenes toward a public rapprochement with Iraq. Moreover, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is proposing a new Gulf coalition that would include both Iran and Iraq. Because of its vast oil reserves, Iraq was a major trading partner for many of these countries prior to the war, and sentiment is rising against the United States because of its apparent favoritism toward Israel. These facts combined with the reality that the sanctions are hurting the Iraqi population more than the government are making it difficult for Arab leaders to reconcile their desire to see Saddam contained and their wish to help Iraqi people and not appear to be under the undue influence of the United States. Bacon said the United States is not concerned about the contacts between Jordan and Iraq. ³The king is a realist and we are realists too. He understands what¹s at stake,² said Bacon. ³They are nervous about Saddam, and they support containment, but they are also worried about the plight of Iraqi people and would like a less tense relationship with Iraq,² said Bacon. ³The important thing is that sanctions remain in place until he complies with the Security Council resolutions.² The main topic of conversation, however, was the Middle East peace process. Jordan is one of the United States¹ major partners in the Middle East peace process which Cohen has repeatedly warned on his eight-day trip through the region could spread to other countries. ³There were encouraging signs violence would decline but in the last couple of days it has gotten worse. That attack on the school bus was deplorable, but all violence is deplorable. The cycle of violence as to stop or it could spin out of control,² Bacon said en route to Amman. Of particular concern is how Syria will respond as the violence in Gaza and the West Bank continues, said Bacon. ³The most dramatic (response would be) any activity by Syria to stir the pot,² said Bacon. ³The whole region is angry and upset by what is going on. The safest way to deal with this is to pull back. As long as violence is escalating the consequences for Palestinians and Israelis is incalculable, because they don¹t know what¹s going to happen next.² Jordan is a key ally in the Middle East. President Clinton has called King Abdullah, who succeeded his late father King Hussein to the throne in February 1999, ³a voice of calm and reason in a region that needs both.² Bacon characterized Jordan as being ³internationalist² in its approach, sending peace keepers to Sierra Leone, East Timor and Kosovo. King Abdullah was a key participant in the recent Sharm El-Sheik peace talks with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Jordan is also critical to fighting terrorism. In December 1999, it broke up a terrorist ring planning massive attacks during the millennial celebrations around the world, a campaign that is believed to have included the first planned attack on a U.S. Navy vessel. That plot, suspected to be the precursor to the bombing of the USS Cole, was foiled by Jordanian intelligence. Jordan has a very immediate interest in peace in Israel: 60 percent of its population is Palestinian, a large proportion of them refugees from Israel. Jordan is not an oil producing country and has few resources and economic problems, including 25 percent unemployment. The United States provides Jordan with $175 million a year in non-military aid and $75 million in military funding annually. Clinton has also requested another $75 million this year in emergency supplemental aid, including $50 million for economic development and $25 million to enhance border security, especially along its Iraqi and Syrian frontiers. That overall $750 million aid package also includes money for Egypt and Israel. Israel would get $450 million, money linked to its withdrawal from Lebanon and the costs of improving physical security along that border, said Bacon. Half would be used for physical security and pull-out costs and the other half would go to improving its strategic defenses. Israel will largely decide how that money is spent. Bacon insists the Arab world has not expressed concern about the new money for the Israeli military despite the disproportionate force it already has over the Palestinians. Bacon says plans for the added money predated the latest round of fighting with Palestinians. ³That hasn¹t seemed to be an issue,² said Bacon, on the tail end of Cohen¹s ninth and last trip to the Middle East as defense secretary. Cohen elicited advice from Abdullah about how to proceed in the Middle East, counsel which will be provided to Clinton upon his return to Washington, according to Bacon. Cohen also plans to bring back suggestions from Oman¹s Sultan Qaboos on how to draw the Palestinians back into negotiations. Cohen is Clinton¹s major source of information on the views of the Gulf countries leadership, Bacon said. ³He has had closer contact with them than anyone else in the cabinet by virtue of the fact the region is so important to us militarily,² he said. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4507046&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * Russia says it lost $30 billion through anti-Iraq sanctions MOSCOW, Nov. 21 (UPI) - Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov says Moscow lost $30 billion due to U.N. economic sanctions imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of oil-rich Kuwait. Ivanov sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan detailing real and potential losses sustained by Russia, according to the Itar-Tass news agency. Speaking on Russia¹s ORT television, Ivanov urged for an end to the embargo.. ³These are real losses and it is natural that we would like the sanctions to be lifted as soon as possibleOur stand is not based on purely selfish interests. The sanctions should be lifted to end the suffering of the Iraqi people in the first place,² he said. ³At the same time, when taking this or that step in the sphere of foreign policy, the first thing we should take into consideration is our own interests, including economic and financial ones.² Ivanov visited Baghdad earlier this month to discuss ways in which the embargo could be lifted. Tass says Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz will travel to Moscow Nov. 25 for further talks with Russian officials on the crippling international sanctions. Russia is owed billions of dollars by Iraq in Soviet-era debts, and is unlikely to see that money while Baghdad remains under U.N. economic sanctions. http://search.ft.com/search/multi/globalarchive.jsp?docId=001121003929&query =Iraq&resultsShown=20&resultsToRequest=100 * Turkomans seeking unity in north Iraq meeting BBC Monitoring Service, Nov 21, 2000 Turkomans from around the world have arrived in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil for a meeting due to start on Tuesday aimed at forming a united front of Turkomans living in northern Iraq, the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet¹ reported. ³It has been decided to form a Turkoman front to ensure unity and harmony in Turkoman groups which have recently been at odds with each other and which have even engaged in fighting in northern Iraq,² the newspaper said. Lawyer Senan Kasap, president of the Association of Turkoman Brotherhood, backed by Turkey, and Kemal Yaycilli, president of the National Turkoman Party, will compete for the leadership of the front. The newspaper said the meeting would be observed by over 40 journalists. It said journalists had been barred from entering northern Iraq since Turkey began operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK in 1996. ³After an interregnum of four years, this is the first time journalists will be entering this region with special permission to attend the congress of the Turkoman front. For this reason, international as well as Turkish media consider this visit very important.² Source: Cumhuriyet¹ web site, Istanbul, in Turkish 19 Nov 00 http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/11/22/iraq.arms.reut/index.html * Iraq may allow U.N. inspectors back -- Saudi paper CNN, November 22, 2000 DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) -- Iraq has told several countries and the United Nations that it would allow international arms inspectors back if their mission was short and it would lead to a lifting of U.N. sanctions, a Saudi daily said Wednesday. Al-Watan newspaper quoted diplomatic sources as saying Iraq has also told the world body, France, Russia and other countries that the inspectors' mission should not be provocative and should respect Iraq's sovereignty. It said Iraq also asked for a lifting of international control over its revenues from the sale of crude oil once the sanctions are lifted. "The Iraqi leadership hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding with (U.N. Secretary General) Kofi Annan ... which would spell out the basis and conditions for cooperation between Iraq and the United Nations and the nature of the mission of international inspectors," the newspapers quoted unnamed European and Arab diplomats as saying. "The memorandum will also include a clear pledge to lift economic sanctions within a short and specified time period which starts after the arrival of international inspectors." the newspaper added. In Moscow, a Russian foreign spokesman said he had no official information about any such move by Iraq. In Washington, a U.S. official said: "Iraq's cooperation with the U.N. on resolution 1248 is not a matter of negotiation. "Resolution 1248 clearly lays out a path for Iraq to achieve the suspension and lifting of sanctions. It's not a matter for negotiation. The path is clear. They know what they need to do," said the official, who asked not to be named. Security Council resolution 1284, adopted last year, offers an easing of trade sanctions, imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, provided Baghdad allows inspectors with the power to dismantle Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction to resume their work. Diplomats familiar with Annan's talks with Iraqi officials in Qatar on November 14, said the issue of admitting inspectors was discussed and the Iraqis reiterated their rejection of the terms set in resolution 1284. "There was no reconsideration of 1284, but the Iraqis were willing to consider the introduction of inspectors if the secretary-general can find a formula whereby they would feel comfortable letting them back in," one diplomat said. "Naturally, their conditions differ from ours, Annan said they have concerns, I a have Security Council resolutions," the diplomat said. He said the important point was the Iraqi willingness to open a dialogue with the United Nations, which might lead to an agreement on how to implement resolution 1284. A Western official said the reported Iraqi conditions would gut the U.N. disarmament commission of any ability to track down suspected weapons of mass destruction, putting vast areas of presidential sites off limits. http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT36P40GVFC&live=true&tagid=ZZZINS5VA0C&subheading=middle%20east%20and%20africa * Iraq set to resume Syria oil exports by Carola Hoyos at the UN and Roula Khalaf in London Financial Times, November 22 2000 The United Nations on Wednesday confirmed that Iraq had begun preparations to export crude oil to Syria, marking another challenge by President Saddam Hussein of Iraq to the UN's 10-year-old sanctions. Diplomats said the oil had started to be stored in the pipeline connecting the countries, which has been reopened for the first time in 18 years. Some diplomats believe that oil could reach Syria as early as today. Iraq has made clear in recent weeks that it had agreed with Damascus to reopen the pipeline to allow Iraqi exports of oil to Syria outside the UN-approved oil-for-food programme. Under the deal, Syria would buy Iraqi crude at a discount and use it in its own refineries. That would allow it to export an equal amount of its own oil to Mediterranean markets. According to UN resolutions, such an arrangement requires UN approval. Both the US and the UK have been putting pressure on Damascus to work out an understanding with the UN before opening the pipeline. They have received indications that Damascus wanted to avoid breaking international law. So far, however, the UN has not heard from Iraq or Syria. Oil experts familiar with the deal say that Baghdad's move is part of a broader strategy to exploit potential loopholes in the sanctions. Iraq and Syria, say experts, can make a case for trading oil without official UN permission. Jordan receives Iraqi oil at a discount outside the UN-approved oil-for-food programme and the UN has ignored well-publicised and large-scale smuggling of Iraqi oil to Turkey. Both Jordan and Turkey argue that the UN sanctions have inflicted damage on their economies by closing off the valuable Iraqi market. "What can the UN say? If a country is friendly like Turkey it can break sanctions and levy taxes on Iraqi oil and if it's not so friendly it can't," said one analyst. "What can they do anyway: send troops and stop the oil? Saddam is calling their bluff and saying: 'Come and stop me'." The UK has called for an urgent meeting of the UN's sanctions committee to seek clarification from Damascus of its intentions. But diplomats at the UN expect the committee, which is made up of the 15 members of the Security Council, to allow Syria, a country with a battered economy, to agree some type of export deal with Iraq. "We will look at what is going on in a global way; we will look at what is going on on the Turkey border, the Jordanian border," admitted one western diplomat. "Everyone knows Jordan gets its oil at half the price and outside the control of the UN resolutions and that 1,000 to 2,000 trucks [carrying oil] go from Iraq to Turkey every day without any control." However, the US and UK, which follow a hard line against Baghdad, will probably insist that money Syria pays Iraq for its oil be monitored by the UN and used to buy humanitarian supplies. Syria is leaving everyone guessing about whether it will seek the UN's validation or blatantly breach sanctions, despite more than a week of negotiations with the US and European countries. The UN's oil-for-food-programme allows Iraq to export its oil via two designated border points - Zakho, on Iraq's border with Turkey, and Mina al-Bakra, Iraq's southern port - and use the proceeds to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods and to repay its Gulf war debts. Jeremy Greenstock, the UK's ambassador to the UN, has said that the sanctions committee would be ready to consider approving a third export point on the Syrian border as long as Syria followed UN procedures. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1036000/1036229.stm * Iraq denies oil exports to Syria BBC News Online, 22nd November Iraq has denied reports that it has begun exporting oil to its former enemy Syria, in defiance of United Nations sanctions. The denial came after reports from Syrian and unofficial Iraqi sources that Iraq had started pumping oil through the pipeline for the first time in 18 years. After being approached by the UN, Baghdad said it was merely taking measures to prepare for future exports of oil through the Syrian route. The BBC's UN correspondent, Mark Devenport, says Western diplomats remain sceptical of Iraq's denial. He says the UK has called for an early meeting of the UN Iraq sanctions committee to discuss the latest information on the Syrian pipeline. Under the terms of the UN-administered oil-for-food programme governing Iraqi exports, Baghdad is authorised to export oil through its pipeline in Turkey or its port at Mina-al-Bakr. The revenues of the sale of oil must be used to buy food and medicine for the Iraqi people. Earlier on Wednesday, the United States said it was taking the reports seriously. It said the US embassy was discussing the issue with authorities in Damascus. Syria has denied it was importing up to 150,000 barrels of Iraqi oil a day. The US, which is seeking to stop the erosion of UN sanctions against Iraq, would oppose Iraqi oil exports through the pipeline without UN permission. The US and UK have recently expressed concern over the decision by a number of countries, including France, to conduct humanitarian flights to Iraq without permission from the UN Security Council. This breaking of a de facto air travel embargo has been bolstered by improving relations with the Arab and Muslim world. The UK and other members of the Security Council also want to discuss the donation of a Boeing 747 to Iraq by a Qatari businessman to find out if it violates sanctions. There has also been talk of a direct dialogue between Iraq and the UN, which has raised expectations that a solutions to the sanctions stalemate is within grasp. http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/11/22/un.iraq.ap/index.html * UN: Iraq denies its exporting oil to Syria, but plans pipeline CNN, November 22, 2000 UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The United Nations said Wednesday it had received assurances that Syria isn't illegally importing oil from Iraq, although Iraq is getting its pipeline to Syria ready. A Syrian oil industry source, speaking in Damascus on condition of anonymity, said 150,000 barrels of oil pumped from the Iraqi city of Mosul arrived Wednesday in Baniyas, Syria, the Mediterranean terminal of the pipeline. But the source said the oil was not for export, and was pumped purely to test the pipeline. The head of the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq, Benon Sevan, received similar assurances from the Iraqi and Syrian missions on Wednesday, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said. "The Iraqis deny that they are exporting oil through the newly reopened pipeline to Syria, saying that they are simply taking the necessary measures to get it ready for the eventual export of oil," Eckhard said. "The Syrian mission informed the Iraq Program that they are not importing oil through the pipeline." Britain, nevertheless, has asked for an urgent meeting of the U.N. sanctions committee on Iraq to take up the matter of the Syrian pipeline -- and also the recent gift of an airplane to Iraq from a Qatari national. British officials said the gift violated sanctions barring countries from selling or supplying such goods to the Iraqi leadership. [.....] http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=138315 * Washington's new archbishop -- a foreign affairs specialist by Uwe Siemon-Netto NEW YORK, Nov. 22 (UPI) [.....] On Wednesday, the pope appointed the Most Rev. Theodore E. McCarrickone, of the most powerful minds among his bishops in the United States, to lead the archdiocese of the nation's capital. Roman Catholic Archbishop McCarrick is a noted expert on foreign affairsand human rights, a champion recruiter of young men for the priesthood, anda formidable academic. [.....] McCarrick has traveled to China, Cuba, Vietnam, the Philippines, SouthKorea, much of eastern Europe, and the troubled African states of Rwanda andBurundi. While speaking out for human rights abroad, he has also opposedU.S. embargoes on Cuba and Iraq on humanitarian grounds. [.....] http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/02195550.htm * Iraqi Marsh Homeland Can Be Restored, Says UK MEP London, Nov. 22, IRNA -- British member of the European Parliament, Baroness Nicholson, is confident that it will be possible to return the displaced Marsh Arabs to their ancient civilisation in southern Iraq. "If a faction of the effort and money poured into the (Persian) Gulf War to free Kuwait, could now be channelled into peaceful restoration and rehabilitation of this kind, it can be achieved," she told a conference of international experts in London this week. Nicholson established the Amar international charitable foundation in 1991 to provide humanitarian relief for the Marsh Arabs in southern Iran, after they were driven from their Iraqi homeland by Saddam Hussein. Launching a new study to determine whether the unique ecosystem can be restored in the Marshlands and if the displaced people can eventually return, the Liberal Democrat MEP said that she was hoping to publish the findings at an international conference next spring. The UK launched an initiative at the Istanbul summit of the OSCE in November 1999 to create a political framework for water management for the Central Asia republics to ensure water should become a source not of tension but of cooperation and stability, she said. "A similar initiative could in time resuscitate the Southern Iraq Marshes and restore the Marsh Dwellers' unique life-style, literally based on water," said Nicholson, who is also a member of the House of Lords in London. She suggested that it was necessary to plan now and have preparations in place to act, ready for when Iraq returns to the international community. There were also much wider, international implications and potential application of what lessons are learnt and what proposals emerge from the study, the British MEP said. This, she said, was because the "key element is water, a basic necessity not just for the Marsh Dwellers but for everyone, everywhere." Nicholson used the Middle East as one prime example of where water issues require foresight and where neighbouring countries need to cooperate regionally to avoid disputes. While the study has the capacity to re-establish an ancient civilisation in southern Iraq, it may "also contribute to a blueprint and framework for solving water conflicts on a wider basis elsewhere,"she said. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=3331 * Iraq submits low December crude prices, UN resists New York, Reuters, 23rd November: Iraq has submitted December oil prices to the United Nations below relative market value to take into account a 50-cent per-barrel surcharge, UN diplomats said yesterday. But the proposals will be rejected by the UN Security Council's Iraqi sanctions committee, the diplomats said. The UN oil-sale overseers are not quickly passing along the proposed prices to the committee as is standard practice because they are out of line with market values, diplomats said. Iraq has low-balled the prices, diplomats say, in an apparent attempt to keep oil prices attractive if Iraq carries through with plans to add a 50-cent per barrel surcharge on its crude shipped from December 1. The UN oil overseers advised the committee that "The suggested prices are below market levels," and further that they "do not represent fair market value," diplomats said. If rejected, it would be only the second rejection of Iraq's proposed monthly prices since the oil-for-food program began in December 1996. The committee's 15 member nations have until Monday at 10am to reject the proposals. Iraq wants prices for Kirkuk shipped to Europe to drop 30 cents (Dated Brent - $3.50); Basrah Light to the United States down 90 cents (second-month WTI -$8.50); Basrah Light to the Far East down 15 cents (Oman/Dubai -$1.35; Kirkuk to the United States down 65 cents (1st-month WTI -$7.05); and Basrah Light to Europe down 45 cents (Dated Brent -$4.55). Some industry sources said yesterday there were rumours that Iraq proposed that its Kirkuk crude be priced $3.60 cents below Dated Brent, which would be 40 cents less than prices set for the second half of November. Kirkuk's main competitor in the Mediterranean market is Russia's Urals crude, which was priced around $1.15 below Dated Brent, trading sources said. Iraqi crude oil grades in the past have generally mirrored price movements of Saudi Arabia's Arab Light crude oil. From November to December, Arab Light official prices for European destinations rose $2.40 cents. Western diplomats have said that they will not approve Iraqi oil prices in December that are not in line with similar crude oil grades in the same competitive market. Iraq has low-balled its proposals for December official selling prices for its crude oil to keep the outright price of the crude competitive. However, that would be after the 50-cent surcharge is added to the offical selling price. Iraq wants revenue raised by the surchage to go into an account it controls to pay production costs. Western diplomats are against this, they say, because it will lower the amount of money going into escrow accounts that pay for humanitarian supplies for Iraq's people who have suffered under UN sanctions for 10 years. European oil firms have balked at the surcharge, but industry sources say Russia's oil firms may be more willing to pay the surcharge. http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/03172321.htmthr 045 * Over 15,000 war veterans died of chemical weapons syndrome Tehran, Nov 13, IRNA -- Over 15,000 war veterans suffering from chemical weapons syndrome have died in the past 12 years since 1988, the end of Iran-Iraq war, Head of the Legal Office for the War Veterans Abbas Khani said on Thursday. Speaking at a seminar on "the legal rights of the war veterans", Khani said the office has compiled 15,000 lawsuits that the war veterans suffering from Iraqi chemical weapons had lodged with the Judiciary against the Western suppliers of chemical weapons to Iraq. Iranian Judiciary said that it would take legal action through theHague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the United States that supported Iraq during its Imposed war on Iran in 1908s by provided its with chemical weapons used against the Iranian soldiers during the imposed war. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=3291 * Lack of clearance grounds first scheduled Baghdad flights by Saifur Rahman Dubai, 23rd November: Passengers on a commercial flight from Sharjah to Baghdad waited at the airport all day yesterday, unable to travel because the flight couldn't get clearance from the United Nations and the Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation. Aviation officials blocked the first commercial flight to Iraq due to lack of proper clearance from the UN, saying the airline did not have permission to operate flights to Baghdad. The plane was to carry 37 paying passengers and humanitarian aid to the sanctions-hit people of Iraq. The airline had chartered a Boeing 727 aircraft to operate four weekly flights - three from Sharjah and one from Dubai. The airline sold tickets for Dh1,500 return and Dh850 one way. Ahmed Abdul Raouf Masoud, General Manager of Nada Al Sharq International, the aviation arm of Dubai-based Nada Al Sharq International Trading Co LLC, said yesterday, "We haven't receive clearance from the United Nations yet, which we are expecting at any moment. Our aircraft has been kept ready for departure at the shortest possible notice." Immigration and civil aviation officials at Sharjah International Airport were tight-lipped, denying having any information about the flight, although officials of Nada Al Sharq were shuttling between their Dubai headquarters and Sharjah airport trying to break the deadlock. The pilot, however, made periodic appearances throughout the day to assure the passengers that they would depart "within half an hour". http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/02180839.htm * Switzerland opens mission in Iraq Vienna, Nov. 22, IRNA -- Switzerland is stepping up diplomatic relations with Iraq, nine years after its embassy in Baghdad was closed, announced Swiss Radio International. The government announced it was to open a liaison office for economic and cultural activities. The foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, said on Wednesday that the closure of the Swiss embassy in Iraq during the Gulf War had led to a lack of first-hand information about what was going on inside the country. Deiss said two Swiss diplomats would be stationed in Baghdad to collect information and to monitor the humanitarian aid and human rights situation. The ministry also said Swiss companies exporting food, medicines and other goods to Iraq, as part of a United Nations special programme, were at a disadvantage compared to those in other European countries. Exports are carried out under the 1995 UN Security Council resolution which lets Baghdad sell oil for humanitarian supplies. Swiss humanitarian aid to Iraq for the current year amounts to SFr4 million (Dlrs 2.2 million). It was channelled through the UN's World Food Programme. Switzerland never severed its diplomatic ties with Iraq, but closed its office for security reasons during the Gulf war. http://www.timesofindia.com/241100/24mide9.htm * Iraq threatens halt to oil exports Times of India, 24th November BAGHDAD (AFP): Iraq threatened Thursday to halt its UN-authorised oil exports unless the UN sanctions committee lifted its 'holds' on Baghdad's import contracts. "We, the Iraqi people, are thinking seriously that ... we should stop exporting oil, at least until the 661 (sanctions) committee releases the 'on-hold' Iraq contracts so that we can benefit from our exported oil," said the Baghdad Observer. The official daily, in an editorial, was referring to the UN oil-for-food programme under which Iraq is authorised to export crude under strict UN supervision to finance imports of essential goods. The programme, launched in December 1996, is run in six-monthly phases, the latest of which expires on December 5. Iraq has been under sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. "If the world community doesn't feel its responsibility towards Iraq's suffering, why should Iraq feel responsible for the expected oil price increase in case it stopped exporting?" asked the Baghdad Observer. "Why should Iraq continue exporting its oil while the revenues are being directed away from its people? Are we exporting oil to pay compensations and UN salaries?" it asked. A third of the revenues from the oil exports are deducted to pay compensation for the 1991 Gulf War, which evicted Iraqi occupation from Kuwait and to finance UN operations in Iraq. The Observer charged that the oil-for-food deal, which Baghdad accepted reluctantly but only as a temporary measure while pressing for a total lifting of sanctions, had turned into "a permanent UN measure crippling Iraq and harming its people." http://www.southnexus.com/details_news.php?date1=25/11/2000&sequence=40 * India favours lifting sanctions against Iraq NEW DELHI, Nov 25: India said it would like to see some "positive" action from the international community on the issue of lifting sanctions against Iraq. Asked whether India favoured lifting of sanctions against Iraq, a foreign office spokesman said "we would like to see positive action in this regard." However, a decision on this has to be taken at the United Nations, he said. As part of renewed high-level political contacts, Iraq's Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadhan will undertake a five-day official to India from November 27. This is the highest level visit from Iraq to India in the last 25 years. During the visit, the two sides will sign a long-term cooperation agreement aimed at further consolidating bilateral ties. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Confederation of Indian Industry and its Iraqi counterpart is also expected to be firmed up. The visit also coincides with the meeting of the Indo-Iraq Joint Commission which would focus on trade and other areas for enhanced cooperation. Ramadhan is being accompanied by a high-power 17-member delegation including Oil Minister Amer Mohammed Rashid and Deputy Foreign Minister Nur Al Weiss. He will call on President K R Narayanan, Vice President Krishan Kant and have a meeting with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, besides holding talks with External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and Petroleum Minister Ram Naik. http://finance.individual.com/display_news.asp?doc_id=RTK24a2193reuff&page=news * Russia-Belarus Slavneft to sign upstream Iraq deal ST PETERSBURG, Russia, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The Russian-Belarussian oil company Slavneft plans to sign a contract to develop the Subba oil deposit in Iraq in December, Slavneft Vice President Andrei Shtorkh said on Friday. The company said in September that it plans to ask the United Nations for special permission to work in Iraq next year if sanctions imposed against the country were not lifted by then. ``All positions have already been agreed (with the Iraqis). We are doing the feasibility study now, working out the scheme of moving necessary equipment there,'' Shtorkh told reporters. ``The problem of U.N. sanctions remains real, of course,'' he added. He said the oilfield held a billion barrels of crude. The United Nations imposed sanctions on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The sanctions prohibit foreign companies from developing oil deposits in the country. But Shtorkh said Slavneft would try to win permission from the U.N. sanctions committee. ``We are ready to appeal to the U.N. sanctions committee with a detailed explanation of what we are going to do and how we are going to do it, in order to try to get special permission to work at full scale,'' he said. ``I am counting on a positive answer insofar as we see that the world's attitude toward Iraq is changing.'' Shtorkh said some of the necessary equipment which would have to be imported was not subject to U.N. sanctions. ``If we prove that the equipment is of purely for civilian use, there will be no opposition either from the sanctions committee or from other counterparts,'' he said. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4561623&template=worldnews/search.txt&index=recent * [Syrian delegation to Baghdad] Two Syrian Ministers of State and a number of businessmen flew in Baghdad on Wednesday aboard an airplane carrying Medical and food aid as part of the continuous assistance extended to Iraq¹s sisterly people. Ministers of State Hassan Nouri and Ihssan Shriteh accompanied by Syrian Chambers of Commerce Head Rateb Shallh and some business were members of the delegation. Nouri told reporters the visit would pose an expression of Syria¹s desire to contribute in lifting the embargo over the Iraqi sisterly people due to the embargo imposed on it. ¹ Syria is ready to extend all support to Iraq and widen the size of cooperation with him,¹¹ he said. The Syrian delegation would attend the opening of the new session of Baghdad International fair where 60 Syrian firms and companies are talking part to represent the industrial and trade domains. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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