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The oil story turned out less exciting than it seemed to be at the end of last week but there's still a lot of it so I've again put it into a separate 'supplement', probably more important than anything in the main news. The 'News Supplement' includes a couple of pieces on what foreign policy might be under Bush so readers may like to delay reading those for a few days to see if it matters. NEWS, 3-10/12/00 * Iraq to open four new embassies * Iraq gets planes back from Tunisia, Jordan * Iraq's Trade Minister Visits UAE * UN Criticizes Human Rights in Iraq * Exiled Jerusalem bishop visits Iraq * U.S. Gulf War study cuts chemical release by half * P[eople's] H[ealth] A[ssembly, meeting at 'Savar', which I can't find in any of my atlases PB] calls for end to sanctions on Cuba, Iraq * Russia criticizes U.S. for highly politicized stand on Iraq * Kuwait seizes smuggled Iraqi goods ['The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said hundreds of goats and sheep and a large quantity of dates were confiscated.' It is very difficult to summon up any feeling of respect for the Kuwaiti government] * Lebanese ministers discuss economic, oil cooperation with Iraq * U.N. awards $208 million in Gulf War claims * Irish claims against Iraq deplored * Western air strikes wound 3 in Iraq * Riyadh gives up demand for extradition of hijackers * Arab economic union to meet in Baghdad next june * Extra Syrian oil supply raise suspicions over Iraq * Ending the misery in Iraq is Seattle minister's prayer * Iraq Supports Palestinian Uprising [with payment of nearly $1billion] * Turkey says north Iraq Kurdish clashes intensify * Iraq says UN has approved oil-for-food deal with India URLs ONLY: http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3H3DR3BGC&liv e=true * Editorial comment: Saddam's oil weapon Financial Times, December 3 2000 This does not add to our knowledge except that it shows the Financial Times in favour of maintaining total UN control over the Iraqi economy. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4727664&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * UN Team Hopeful for Iraq Inspection Just really a reminder that the Weapons Inspection team exists. OIL SUPPLEMENT (sent separately) * Iraq Blames U.S. for Its Halt of Oil Export * Iraq Bans Reselling Oil to Enemies * Iraq, U.N. discuss compromise on Dec oil prices * Iraq crude boycott targets U.S. oil import reliance * Iraq oil-for-food deal extended * OPEC Oil Output And Iraq * France proposes plan to adjust Iraq's oil-for-food program * UN extends Iraq oil program, relaxes spending restrictions * Iraqis Delay Agreeing to U.N. Deal * U.N. and Iraq Agree on Oil Price * OPEC oil price falls below $28 NEWS SUPPLEMENT (general discussions and items not immediately about Iraq. Sent separately) * Platform: The sanctions boomerang [an Indian warning that the sanctions imposed on Pakistan may not have the desired effect] * The IDF is taking lessons in communication skills [secrets of the MoD's success in managing the media] * US Officials Should Look Beyond The Terrorist Pawns Deployed By Bin Laden And Take Action Against The States That Support Him * How Helms is sparking a real crisis [the ''American Servicemembers Protection Act'' aimed to ensure that no American serviceman will ever go before an international tribunal] * Israel Launches Observation Satellite From Siberia * Pentagon Shapes the Bush Policy Team * The wrong man to run the State Department [On Colin Powell: 'After the irresolution of the Christopher-Albright years, the next secretary of state must be someone who is not uneasy with the assertion of US leadership or nervous about the projection of power abroad.' This seems very unjust to Madeleine Albright.] * Putin makes a political misstep in trip to Cuba [not only should the Russians cut off all help to their old ally they shouldn't even go there without US permission] * Saddam Wins, America Sleeps [the selection of US foreign affairs hysteria I am offering in this supplement comes to its shuddering climax] * CIA warns US faces biggest threat since World War II [though this runs it close] * The Biggest Robbery of the Century [about the UN Compensation Commission. But its just a rewrite of the Monde Diplomatique article circulated to this list by Sandeep Vaidya on 18th October] * Iraqis on the list [letter to the Observer commenting on 'Saddam's executioner' which featured in last week's supplement] http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1050000/1050946.st m * IRAQ TO OPEN FOUR NEW EMBASSIES BBC World Service, Sunday, 3 December, 2000 Iraq says it will shortly open new embassies in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The decision was announced by the Iraqi foreign minister, Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf. Correspondents say the move is in line with Baghdad's diplomatic campaign to help reduce the impact of UN sanctions. Iraq currently has sixty-two embassies around the world, and announced last month that it had appointed its first ambassador to South Africa. At the same time, two more international flights arrived in Baghdad overnight, from Italy and Ukraine. The Italian plane carried a delegation of forty political and cultural figures. The Ukranian delegation is made up of eight officials, who will hold talks with the Iraqis on ways of improving relations. http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=4697356&template=worldnews/ search.txt&index=recent * IRAQ GETS PLANES BACK FROM TUNISIA, JORDAN KADI BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf said Monday that Tunisia and Jordan would return Iraqi civilian planes, which were sent to both countries for shelter when the Gulf war broke out in 1990. Al-Sahhaf told Iraq's "Nabad al-Shabab" weekly newspaper that "Tunisia and Jordan decided to release 10 Iraqi planes" while Baghdad was exerting pressures on Iran to convince it return five other Iraqi planes "captured since the Gulf War II." He said Iraqi technicians have started to rehabilitate the Iraqi planes in both Tunisia and Jordan but noted that they need to replace their engines so that to be able to fly again. Iraq sent its civilian fleet, made up of 30 planes mostly Boeings, for shelter in Tunisia, Jordan and Iran on the eve of the 1990 Gulf War to spare it from air strikes and missile attacks by the U.S.-led allied forces. [.....] http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=4695874&template=worldnews/ search.txt&index=recent * IRAQ'S TRADE MINISTER VISITS UAE WorldNews.com, Mon 4 Dec 2000 Iraq's Trade Minister, Mohammed Mehdi Saleh, is at present on a visit to the United Arab Emirates. The Iraqi Minister was duly received by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and during their meeting various matters were discussed, including measures designed to improve and strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. The meeting was also attended by Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy and Commerce and Abdul Razaq Ahmed, Iraqi Chargé d'Affaires. [.....] http://www.worldnews.com/?action=display&article=4701966&template=worldnews/ search.txt&index=recent * UN CRITICIZES HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAQ UNITED NATIONS (Associated Press, Mon 4 Dec 2000) ‹ The U.N. General Assembly criticized human rights abuses in Iraq, Iran, Congo and Sudan on Monday, reserving its strongest condemnation for Baghdad's campaign of ``widespread terror.'' The nonbinding resolutions call on the four countries to protect the human rights of their citizens and end the use of torture and other cruel and inhuman punishments. By a vote of 102-3, with 60 abstentions, the General Assembly strongly condemned ``the systematic, widespread and extremely grave'' human rights violations by the Iraqi government, ``resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad based discrimination and widespread terror.'' The resolution also condemned executions and political killings and the repression faced by all opponents of Saddam Hussein's government. It called on Iraq to establish an independent judiciary, cancel decrees limiting free expression and prescribing inhuman punishment, and ensure the rights of the political opposition and religious minorities. [.....] http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4713045&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * EXILED JERUSALEM BISHOP VISITS IRAQ UPI, Tue 5 Dec 2000 The exiled Eastern Rite Catholic Bishop of Jerusalem, Hilarion Cappucci, arrived Tuesday in Baghdad aboard a Syrian plane, accompanied by 24 Christian religious leaders. Cappucci told reporters upon his arrival that this was the first time that a Christian religious delegation has visited Iraq in nearly two decades. "I was away from Iraq during the past years, but I was always praying for it," said Cappucci, who was deported from Jerusalem by Israeli forces 20 years ago because of his support then of the Palestinians and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Since then, he has been at the Vatican, but never relinquished his post as Bishop of Jerusalem. Cappucci praised Iraq for his backing of the ongoing Palestinian uprising and for extending assistance to the Palestinians fighting Israeli occupation. [.....] http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=4289 * U.S. GULF WAR STUDY CUTS CHEMICAL RELEASE BY HALF Washington (Reuters), 6th December: A plume of low-level nerve gas released shortly after the Gulf War ended and investigated for possible links to mysterious symptoms affecting U.S. troops, contained about half the chemical agents than initially believed, the Pentagon said yesterday. A study conducted in 1997 estimated that when U.S. forces destroyed a cache of rockets in southern Iraq, 500 released 1,762 pounds (715 kg) of the nerve agents sarin and cyclosarin at the Khamisiyah arms dump. The updated computer simulation study released yesterday now says 225 rockets released about 705 pounds (320 kg) of the nerve agents, out of an estimated 1,250 rockets in the pit. Chemical rockets in Khamisiyah in southern Iraq were blown up in an open pit on March 10, 1991, which set off a large cloud of smoke and gas that drifted away from the blast. The demolition of the rockets at Khamisiyah is the only Gulf War event that the Pentagon believes may have exposed U.S. troops to chemical warfare agents, Bernard Rostker, the Pentagon's special assistant for Gulf War illness said. Some of the revisions in the latest report were based on updated information gathered by the CIA. The UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) excavated the pit and found "far fewer damaged rockets" than earlier estimated, CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said. Also a soldier who was an explosives expert said the demolition charge at Khamisiyah was not optimally placed, he said. "We believe the amount of chemical agent released from the Khamisiyah pit is about half of what was originally estimated," Mansfield said. The ratio of sarin to cyclosarin, which is the deadlier nerve agent of the two, was about three-to-one. The revised study said the number of U.S. troops in the area where the plume was released was still about 100,000, but 35,000 of them were now different individuals than in 1997 because of more detail on the location of the troops. The Pentagon is sending letters to the whole group. The letters to the newly-identified group tell veterans they may have been exposed to "very low levels of chemical agent for a brief period of time" and if they have health concerns to get a physical exam. The Pentagon has through interviews and journals been better able to pin down which troops were near the Iraqi arms dump when it was destroyed, Rostker said. Thousands of Gulf veterans have complained of ills ranging from joint aches to loss of memory, but no cause has been found for the complaints. Rostker yesterday said there was still no definitive link between unexplained Gulf War veteran health complaints and a particular event of the war. Between 10,000 and 20,000 Gulf War veterans have unexplained illness, he said. "There are consistent studies that show those who served in the Gulf report symptoms at a considerably higher rate," Rostker said. "When you turn that into objective measures - days of hospitalization, mortality, days off the job - there are no correlations," he said. The Pentagon shared the report with British and French authorities and the British believe the U.S. study was portraying the cloud as "too toxic" and larger than it should be, Rostker said. SEE ALSO (for less rosy view of the same story): http://www.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/12/05/chemical.troops/index.html * Pentagon: 35,000 troops potentially exposed to nerve gas CNN, December 5, 2000 http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/dec/06/06122000mt.htm#A11 * PHA CALLS FOR END TO SANCTIONS ON CUBA, IRAQ Bangladeshi Independent, 6th december Cuban and Iraqi delegations addressing the second day session of the People's Health Assembly (PHA) 2000 being held at Savar yesterday called for an immediate lifting of sanctions against their countries. Former director general of the World Health Organisation Halfdan Mahler said no other country in the world is as successful as Cuba in achieving the goal for Health for All". David Woodward, an economist, also cited Cuba as an example of a country which has taken people's welfare as a top priority. Salma Jabu, a delegate from the northern territories of Iraq also called for an end to the US sanctions on Iraq after the Gulf War in 1991 which she said had resulted in massive destruction of infrastructure and affected health care seriously. Bangladesh Water Resources Minister Abdur Razzak said millions of people around the world are still deprived of basic health care. Unfortunately the Alma Ata declaration of 1978 of "Health for All" had turned out to be a mirage. The South African delegate compared the phenomenon of globalisation to that of slavery and said that it had taken 300 years to end the slave trade because many African leaders had collaborated with colonialists. He said similarly in the contemporary world third world leaders were collaborating with international institutions to rob their own people of their resources. http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/16113207.htm * RUSSIA CRITICIZES U.S. FOR HIGHLY POLITICIZED STAND ON IRAQ Ottawa, Dec 6, IRNA-Itar-Tass-ACSNA -- Russia favors allowing international inspectors to come to Iraq and make sure the country does not have weapons of mass destruction, Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov told Tass on Tuesday after two-day talks to prepare President Vladimir Putin's visit to Canada. The talks addressed main economic problems, including international sanctions against Iraq, the diplomat said. If inspectors find proof that Iraq does not develop such weapons the country' prospects for lifting sanctions would open as is provided by the U.S. security council resolution, Mamedov said. According to him, Russia cannot accept that the U.S. does not allow hopes that sanctions can be lifted, but approves a national law that makes the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime a U.S. national policy. "The law bounds the American administration even in a legal sense, and I am not sure that we will manage to cope with the U.S. resistance, as Washington's stand is highly politicized," the diplomat said. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1059000/1059589.st m * KUWAIT SEIZES SMUGGLED IRAQI GOODS BBC, Thursday, 7 December, 2000 The authorities in Kuwait say coast guards have impounded five ships on suspicion of breaking the United Nations embargo on Iraq. The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said hundreds of goats and sheep and a large quantity of dates were confiscated. "The seizure comes as a result of the cooperation with the international forces imposing the decade-long economic embargo against Iraq," the ministry said. There was no indication of which flag the vessels were flying nor the nationalities of the 51 crew members who were arrested. Three of the ships were carrying 520 goats and 402 sheep while the other two were loaded with 872 tonnes of Iraqi dates and an unspecified quantity of lentils. This year Kuwait has seized 25 vessels and small tankers which were smuggling oil and other produce out of Iraq in controvention of the comprehensive economic sanctions imposed when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. Correspondents say the ships and goods are usually sold at auction. Crew members, who often hail from the Indian subcontinent are detained and fined before being deported to their home countries. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4742589&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * LEBANESE MINISTERS DISCUSS ECONOMIC, OIL COOPERATION WITH IRAQ BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A four-member Lebanese ministerial delegation arrived Thursday for talks with Iraqi officials on ways to boost economic cooperation and the possibility of the resumption of pumping Iraqi oil to Lebanon as part of the U.N. oil-for-food program. The delegation, headed by Minister of Finance Fouad Seniora, traveled from Beirut aboard a cargo plane of Lebanon's Trans Mediterranean Airways, which was carrying 10 tons of medical and food supplies. Seniora was accompanied by Minister of Economy Bassel Fleihan and state ministers Beshara Merhej and Michel Pharaoun as well as 30 officials and businessmen. The talks with the Iraqi officials were to focus on consolidating economic cooperation and the possibility of pumping Iraqi oil to Lebanon through Syria. Lebanon has joined efforts to break the 10-year-old U.N. embargo on Iraq by sending five planes with businessmen and humanitarian assistance to Baghdad's Saddam International Airport, which was reopened last August. Meanwhile in Beirut, Lebanese and Syrian officials met to discuss a mechanism for re-operating the Iraqi oil pipeline that crosses Lebanese and Syrian territories and estimate the cost for another pipeline to supply Lebanon with Syrian gas. Mohammed Beydoun, the Lebanese minister of Electricity and Water Resources, said the cost of rehabilitating the oil pipeline between Iraq and Lebanon was "very minimal." Beydoun said Lebanon would "enter a new phase to coordinate its oil policies, including benefiting from the Iraqi oil in an attempt to condemn the (U.N.-imposed) embargo." http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4749217&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * U.N. AWARDS $208 MILLION IN GULF WAR CLAIMS UPI, Thu 7 Dec 2000: The United Nations Compensation Commission on the 1990-1991 Gulf War approved Thursday $208.7 million in reparation claims with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia the major recipients of the awards. To date, the commission has awarded more than $32 billion, and more than $9.5 billion has been paid out under the food-for-oil regime approved by the U.N. Security Council, which has earmarked 30 percent of revenue generated from Iraqi oil sales on the world market to the compensation body. But thousands of individual, corporate and government claims for tens of billions of dollars in damages have yet to be reviewed by the UNCC, which is scheduled to wrap up at the end of 2003. The recent hikes in world oil prices have seen about $400 million flowing monthly into the reparations fund, commission spokesman Joe Sills told reporters. But Sills said the decision by the U.N. Security Council in September to reduce the amount going to the UNCC from 30 to 25 percent, effective in December, along with the a drop in oil prices and the recent withholding of output by Iraq could reduce the amount of funds received. The Commission's governing council approved 148 claims filed by 13 countries in the over $100,000 individual "D" category. The total value of awards from this category has reached $43.5 million, of which Kuwait received $25.6 million, Jordan $7.7 million, and the United States, $5.7 million. In a separate D category installment, the Council also approved 515 claims by 14 governments with a total award value of $131.6 million, of which Kuwait alone received $127.7 million for 42 claims. Finally, in the government awards segment, Saudi Arabia was awarded $33.5 million for two claims -- substantially less then the amount of $288.9 million initially requested for 22 cases. The UNCC Council has also agreed to allow Iraq 12 months instead of the present six months, to consider large claims in excess of $1 billion and has been also looking into providing technical and legal assistance for complex environmental claims. In a related development, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan Thursday appointed Rolf Knutsson, currently his special envoy in Southern Lebanon, as executive secretary to the UNCC. Knutsson, a Swedish national, is to replace early next year the incumbent chief Jean-Claude Aimé. http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2000/1208/hom13.htm * IRISH CLAIMS AGAINST IRAQ DEPLORED by Alison O'Connor, Political Reporter Irish Times, Friday, December 8, 2000 Fifteen Irish companies have made claims, some for millions of pounds, to an Iraqi war reparation fund for commercial losses suffered as a result of the Gulf War. The claims have been criticised by the Fianna Fáil MEP, Mr Niall Andrews, who said 5,000 Iraqi children are dying every month and the country has already paid enough. So far one company, Aer Lingus, has received a payment from the fund. The claim for $159,000, a spokesman said, was lodged in 1993. The company has received two payments, amounting to £87,000, and is expecting the third and final payment. The claims were made to the Geneva-based United Nations Compensation Commission on Iraq (UNCCI), into which the Iraqis have paid a total of $11.5 billion to date. "It is hard to believe 10 years after the Gulf War Iraq is still paying war reparations," Mr Andrews told The Irish Times. "Since the Gulf War, one million children have died because of lack of proper food and medicinal supplies. They have paid enough. If I was running Aer Lingus I would not claim from the UNCCI, they always had the option of withdrawing the claim." According to an Aer Lingus official, its claim related to the detention in May 1993 of six employees who were working in Kuwait when the war broke out, as part of a contract with Kuwait Airlines. He said that most civilian airlines had made claims to the commission relating to operational losses, the cancelling of routes or consequent losses. Its claim, he said, related directly to the six employees. "Obviously we would have suffered (commercially) but we didn't get into that. We wanted compensation for the direct expenses incurred relating to the six staff, such as setting up a crisis centre, dealing with the families, offering counselling." This week an Irish parliamentary delegation is visiting Iraq to review the effects of the continuing UN sanctions. The members include Mr John Gormley TD of the Green Party, ail TD Mr David Andrews TD of Fianna Faíl, Labour TD Mr Michael D. Higgins, Senator Mick Lanigan of Fianna Fáil, and independent Senator Mr David Norris. According to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, 15 companies, which it would not name but are based in Ireland, have made claims through the Department. Six of those companies did not receive compensation. A further six claims are currently being processed and one company has withdrawn its claim. The Aer Lingus claim has been processed and compensation granted. Mr Niall Andrews, who has visited Iraq twice this year, explained that the UN Oil for Food Programme began in December 1996. Since then Iraq has exported over 2,190 million barrels with an estimated total value exceeding $38.3 billion. He said that 30 per cent of that, $11.5 billion, has had to be paid to the UNCCI. It was essential that Irish people were informed of the claims and the justification for them, he said. The lack of knowledge about the commission was startling. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=4749239&template=worldnews/search. txt&index=recent * WESTERN AIR STRIKES WOUND 3 IN IRAQ UPI, Thu 7 Dec 2000: Three Iraqis were wounded Thursday when U.S. and British warplanes bombarded civilian installations, according to an Iraqi military spokesman. The spokesman said the U.S. and British jets violated Iraq's air space "backed by the Kuwaiti and Saudi regimes" and hit civilian installations. He did not say, however, which area was targeted. He said three civilians were wounded and Iraqi anti-aircraft gunners confronted the raiding warplanes. http://www.timesofindia.com/081200/08mide4.htm * RIYADH GIVES UP DEMAND FOR EXTRADITION OF HIJACKERS Yimes of India, 8th December RIYADH (AFP): Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it had given up its demand for the extradition of two of its nationals who hijacked a Saudi plane to Baghdad on October 15 and have since been granted political asylum in Iraq. "We have not asked for their extradition and we hope they'll live in peace and safety with their brothers in Iraq," Defence Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz told journalists. According to Prince Sultan, Saudi Arabia was continuing as if the two hijackers, Faisal Naji al Balawi and Ayesh Ali al-Fridi, "were dead". Prince Sultan's statements contradicted repeated demands by Riyadh's interior ministry that the two men be extradited so they could be judged in the kingdom. Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz had even said his country would contact Interpol over its extradition request, as Riyadh and Baghdad have not had diplomatic relations since the 1991 Gulf War. The Boeing 777 flying from Jeddah to London was hijacked to Baghdad. Its passengers were quickly released unharmed at the Saddam International Airport and the hijackers were taken into custody and questioned by Iraqi authorities. Prince Sultan also said that Riyadh would not request the extradition from the United States of 36-year-old Khalid al-Fawwaz, a Saudi national suspected of having links to alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. "The kingdom is not concerned with this affair. The man has put himself in a dishonourable situation for a Saudi citizen," he said. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001208/2000120829.html * ARAB ECONOMIC UNION TO MEET IN BAGHDAD NEXT JUNE The Arab Economic Union council will hold its upcoming session next June 6-7 in Baghdad, Iraqi trade minister, Mehdi Salah, announced at the end of the 72nd session held in Cairo. The decision to convene 10 economy and trade ministers in Baghdad was made at absolute majority. The council also decided to support Iraq's rights to full sovereignty over its oil. The Union council comprises 10 members: Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Mauritania. http://finance.individual.com/display_news.asp?doc_id=RTL08a1877reuff&page=n ews * EXTRA SYRIAN OIL SUPPLY RAISE SUSPICIONS OVER IRAQ by Jonathan Leff, December 8, 2000 LONDON, (Reuters) - Syrian light crude exports in December are running 20 percent higher than normal, indicating that an import pipeline from Iraq could be helping supply Syrian refineries, trading sources said on Friday. According to the copy of a loading programme obtained by Reuters, 18.5 80,000-tonne cargoes of Syrian Light are scheduled to lift in December. Typically Syria exports 15 cargoes of the crude, an export rate of 280,000 barrels per day. The difference amounts to an increase of some two million barrels, or about 65,000 barrels a day. ``This looks like the first sign of Iraqi imports displacing crude at Banias (refinery),'' said one trader. ``I would say this programme does represent some incremental barrels.'' Industry sources say Syria is incapable of increasing exports unless it diverts crude being processed at domestic refineries. Domestic production is already at its limit. In mid-November, a Syrian oil official said that Iraq had begun pumping about 150,000 barrels a day of Iraqi crude through the pipeline, which had not been used since 1982, without awaiting United Nations approval. Industry sources said Syria was purchasing the crude at a discount to international prices for use in local refineries, freeing its own Syrian Light grade for export. But U.N. representatives of both countries have denied exports are taking place. Last weekend Iraqi Oil Minister Amir Muhammed Rasheed reiterated that Baghdad was not exporting through the pipeline and that repairs on it were in an ``advanced stage.'' A State Department official said late on Friday that the U.S. has no evidence Iraq is pumping oil to Syria, and insists the Iraqis are just testing the pipeline. ``The pipeline is not functioning...they're not pumping,'' the official said, who repeated that the U.S. would not oppose Iraq sending oil through the pipeline as long as it is approved as an export route under the U.N's oil-for-food programme. The department has no idea how Syria was able to increase its oil exports, the official said. As part of Iraq's ninth phase of its oil-for-food programme, under which the United Nations controls the sanction-bound country's export revenues, the Security Council has asked Secretary General Kofi Annan to look into the feasibility of restarting the pipeline. The United States and Britain have said they will not stand in the way of Iraqi exports on the pipeline as long as it is approved by the Security Council. Baghdad is allowed to sell some oil directly to its neighbour Jordan outside the terms of the U.N. programme. More is smuggled to Turkey by truck. [.....] Traders noted that a number of stems in the Syrian programme appeared to be ``trading cargoes,'' including one being lifted by a trading house while two other European companies had received an unusually large allotment of two full cargoes each. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi bin/WebObjects/SeattleTimes.woa/wa/gotoArticle?zsection_id=268448406&text_on ly=0&slug=randall09m&document_id=134252537 * ENDING THE MISERY IN IRAQ IS SEATTLE MINISTER'S PRAYER by Sally Macdonald Seattle Times, Saturday, December 09, 2000, It was a Christmas epiphany that led the Rev. Randall Mullins to Iraq. He was struggling to write a sermon on the meaning of the Magi, the wise men whose visit to the manger foreshadowed Jesus' ministry beyond Judaism. He called a friend for help. Suddenly, he says, his sermon and his own ministry were clear. The friend was Jim Douglass, a peace activist formerly of Seattle who has made several trips to Iraq since the the Gulf War, taking medical supplies for children's hospitals, in violation of U.S. sanctions. "Talking to him turned the story around," Mullins says. "Instead of the Wise Men from the East going west to see one child, it became people from the West going east to see many children, to save them from dying." Mullins also went to Iraq after his epiphany, to take medicines and see for himself how sanctions have caused Iraqis to suffer. "There are many horrors in the world," he says. "But Iraq beats all in terms of the extent of suffering and the absurdity of the suffering. Two hundred children are dying every day without aspirin. ... And it could be more children than that." Tomorrow, Mullins is being given a Human Rights Award by the Seattle United Nations Association. Others being honored include the Seattle Peace Chorus; Bruce Kochis, director of the Human Rights Education and Research Network at the University of Washington, Bothell; Roman Mayfield, a union activist; and Charlotte Utting, a former Peace Corps volunteer. Mullins also helped found the Church Council of Greater Seattle's Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq to help people of all faiths "be a unified voice" against the sanctions. But he has no plans to go back to Iraq. Federal authorities threatened prison and a fine up to $200,000 for going in 1997. "I've had a sense, and it became pretty explicit, that my place is to stay here and try to bring a deeper inward dimension to the problem," he says. "I am an activist, but I also believe in prayer. There's a kind of prayer that can be escapist - just you and me, God. But there's also people like the Dalai Lama, Gandhi and Jesus who showed us that activism matters, but we have to pay attention to our ultimate connectedness with each other, too." The U.S. entered a new era of warfare with the Gulf War, Mullins believes, leaving depleted waste from the construction of nuclear weapons to poison the desert. "In my view, it was the first step to using nuclear weapons, actually, but we didn't admit it. A kind of destructive frenzy overtook our country with that war." The salve for Iraq's misery lies in activism and prayer, Mullins says, and the ability to look unblinkingly at what war and sanctions have wrought in Iraq.. "We have the facts, but people have to have more - facts and prayer and a certain gentleness. It would be hard as a nation to look at ourselves, but we could go through spiritual renewal as a society over this." http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2000/dec/09/120900431.html * IRAQ SUPPORTS PALESTINIAN UPRISING BAGHDAD, Iraq (Associated Press, 9th December) -- Iraq pledged Saturday to allocate some $881 million in oil revenues to support the Palestinian uprising, the official Iraqi News Agency said. The agency was quoting a statement issued after a meeting of the Revolutionary Command Council and the Iraq Regional Command of al-Baath Party, chaired by President Saddam Hussein. The members agreed to allocate $264 million to support the families of Palestinian martyrs, with the remaining $617 million to go toward the purchase of food, medicine and humanitarian needs. The money would be donated in euros. More than 300 people, most Palestinians, have been killed in more than two months of fighting in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The Iraqi News Agency said the donated money would be deducted from its oil export income. [.....] http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=4503 * TURKEY SAYS NORTH IRAQ KURDISH CLASHES INTENSIFY Tunceli, Reuters, 9th december Turkish military officials said yesterday that fighting had intensified between rival groups in the neighbouring Kurdish-held enclave of northern Iraq. Ankara keeps a military presence in the enclave - which Iraqi Kurds wrested from Baghdad's grasp after the 1991 Gulf War - to fight the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PKK has waged a 16-year-long campaign for autonomy in Turkey's mostly Kurdish southeast. Its leader, Abdullah Ocalan, is in prison in Turkey under sentence of death. A Turkish military official told Reuters that more than 100 people had been killed in combat between the PKK and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). PUK officials could not be reached for comment. Ankara limits journalists crossing its border into northern Iraq, making independent confirmation of reports of fighting there difficult. But according to a variety of different sources, PKK guerrillas are involved in heavy fighting with a rival group led by local leader Jalal Talabani. "According to the information reaching us the PKK has lost more than 100. There are uncertainties about the PUK figures but they are in the region of 50," the official said. The clashes between two groups that once lived in relative peace suggest changing balances in the region, which the United States patrols by air with British support to prevent the troops of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein reimposing control. The Turkish official denied PKK claims that its troops were acting as advisors and providing logistical support to the PUK. "That is out of the question. Turkey is not a party to this," he said. Talabani and the head of the other principal Kurdish faction, Massoud Barzani, have both visited Ankara in recent months for talks which Turkish officials say included measures to be taken against the PKK. The PKK, which Turkey regards as a "terrorist" group that it is determined to destroy, has been saying since September that it was under attack by forces of Talabani's PUK. Senior PKK rebel commander Nizamettin Tas told the satellite channel Medya TV, close to the rebels, that PKK forces had killed more than 100 of Talabani's men for the loss of around 35 of its fighters. The fighting is taking place in mountains close to the northern Iraqi border with Iran. http://www.southnexus.com/details_news.php?date1=10/12/2000&sequence=24 * IRAQ SAYS UN HAS APPROVED OIL-FOR-FOOD DEAL WITH INDIA www.southnexus.com [based in Karnataka, a state on the west coast of southern India] NEW DELHI, Dec 10: Iraq has said that the United Nations Sanctions Committee has approved Indo-Iraq food for oil deal and fixed price at which India will import oil from Iraq in exchange for foodgrains. "The UN Committee yesterday gave its stamp of approval to the agreement signed by India and Iraq for trading oil for foodgrains. The Committee has arrived at the price at which Iraq will sell crude and the details would come next week," Iraqi Ambassador Salah Al-Mukhtar said at a seminar organised by International Association of Economic Journalists here on Saturday. Stating that the details and quantity of oil for food deal will be worked out with Iraq after a formal confirmation of the UN approval was received, Petroleum Minister Ram Naik expressed the view the deal would ensure that India gets oil cheaper than the prevailing international crude prices. "We expect that the price fixed by the United Nations would be lower than the prevailing international oil," he said. Al-Mukhtar said that quantities of oil India will import and quantity of wheat and rice it would export to Iraq would be decided by the two sides shortly. Iraq presently sells around 1.5 million tones of crude to India under the supervision of United Nations. India, which signed an agreement for exchanging oil for food during the visit of Iraqi Vice President last month, has demanded increasing the crude import from Iraq by at least one million tones immediately. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk