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News, 25-31/3/01 (1)

NEWS, 25-31/3/01 (1)

A lot of articles this week on the Arab League summit, with necessarily a
lot of repetition but they each of them seem to bring something different to
a still not very complete picture.


*  Arab leaders meet next week to bolster economies
*  Arab group fails to get Iraq, Kuwait to compromise
*  Arabs Slowly Overcoming Some Issues [a list if issues under discussion
other than Israel and sanctions on Iraq]
*  Arab leaders stress need to close Iraq - Kuwait file; support uprising
[includes a list of who spoke, though not much about what they said]
*  Chronology of Arab summits [a list of Arab League summits since 1946 with
a brief account of the circumstances of each of them]
*  Hussein condemns Jews; Arabs divided on Iraq
*  Saudi Arabia will not permit its land to be used for military acts
against Iraq [says Saud al-Faisal. Does this mean it can¹t be used for
policing the no fly zones?]
*  King Abdullah to follow up on Iraq-Kuwait row
*  Text of draft resolution [on Iraq-Kuwait confrontation at Arab summit.
This appears to be the pro-Kuwaiti text which everyone approved except Iraq.
It implies conditions on the lifting of sanctions. There seems also to have
been a pro-Iraqi one which everyone approved except Kuwait]
*  An Iraq-Kuwait Accord Eludes Arabs at Summit
*  Excerpts from communique [from Arab summit. All to do with Israel and
*  Arabs united on Israel, divided on Iraq [an Israeli analysis from
*  Arab summit outcome disappointing for Iraq
*  Amman Declaration [apparently agreed by everyone. It calls for the
lifting of sanctions on Iraq]


*  UAE says UN must overhaul its approach to global developments [Sheikh
Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan calls for the ending of all sanctions on
*  Diplomat: Iran's Ties With Regional States in Good Status [on Iran-Kuwait
relations. Iran is proposing to supply Kuwait with water]
*  Morocco, Iraq hold 9th session of joint commission [a very considerable
effort seems to be going into promoting Iraqi-Moroccan trade]
*  Turks, Kurds Violate Iraq Oil Embargo -- With U.S. Blessing [some US
journalist seems briefly to have woken up]
*  Izzat Ibrahim, al-Sahaf extend their stay in Amman
*  UN presses Iraq over prisoners of war



*  Iraqi [health] minister arrives [in Pakistan. We learn that local
pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan Œhad reached a stage where they were
capable of manufacturing medicines of international quality, and compete
with multinational companies based in the Middle East, Africa and Central
Asian Republics, in exports.¹ This presumably means they are due a visit
soon from the US Air Force]


*  Iraq hits out at UK, US proposals [to police the companies whp are buying
Iraqi oil to prevent the payment of the surcharge]
*  Kurds: Saddam pressures UN for support [a question as to whether the UN
work should be administered by Arabs/Iraqi or by others whom the Iraqis
characterise as spies]
*  Mix of Uses Tangles Sanctions [on difficulties of determining Œdual use¹]


*  US moots changes in sanctions package for Iraq
*  Powell, Vedrine Hold Talks on Iraq Sanctions
*  White House Defends Iraq Sanctions [this article refers to Œan Arab
League communique that demanded lifting all curbs on exports OF WEAPONS [my
emphasis - PB] and technology to Iraq¹. Note that in this article, Richard
Boucher is accusing the Arab leaders of being liars, supporting the US
privately despite their public pronouncements. Which are only made to
satisfy the - by implication, ignorant -Arab people. So much for the US
commitment to Arab democracy]
*  Firing blanks at the Iraqi military [debate in the US military on the no
fly zones]
*  The realists clean up [the New York Post rejoices that the big softy
Colin Powell is being edged out by the hard men, Cheney and Rumsfield. Has
anyone noted the reversal of roles since the last adminitration, when the
Pentagon seemed to be the more internationalist, Œmoderate¹ element and the
State department the more gung-ho?]


*  'A Great Deal Of Arrogance'  [on the US military¹s reluctance to have its
accidents seriously examined]
*  Pentagon Cites Gulf War Gas Danger [a possibility that some US soldiers
might have been exposed when a chemical weapons depot was blown up. No
concern expressed for anyone else who might have been in the area]
*  The depleted uranium: A slow, silent killer
*  U.S. Warplane Attacks Iraqi Site [not quite Œcollateral damage¹ but the
article also tells us about 8 children blown up by an unexploded missile
left over from the Guilf War near the border with Kuwait]


*  GOP Core Wants Bush to Intervene in Sudan War
*  Washington studies possibility of an ambassador to Khartoum; oil reserve
second largest in region [this might prove to be important ...]
*  War Could Litter Space with Debris - U.S. General
*  Creating a market for Star Wars

URL ONLY,3604,462960,00.html
*  Moscow doesn't matter any more. And neither do we
by Peter Preston
The Guardian, 26th March
Article arguing that the Bush administration no longer take Russia seriously
as a threat and consequently attach little importance to Europe. Their
attention is focussed on China.

CHILDREN¹S CORNER [two articles of mindnumbing triviality which are only
included for reasons of patriotic sentiment]

*  Cook defends Britain's 'ethical' foreign policy
*  This means war [The Guardian¹s typically frivolous reaction to the US
refusal to abide by the terms of the Kyoto agreement. A joke about
sanctions. Sanctions are not very funny]


Daily Star, Bangla Desh, 25th March

REUTERS, Amman: Arab leaders will try next week to breathe life into
grandiose plans for economic integration scuppered in the past by political
rivalries, officials said Friday.

Besides a political agenda crammed with contentious issues, the March 27-28
summit in Amman will review practical moves to bolster inter-Arab trade at
the turn of a new millennium where future prosperity is challenged by

Economy, trade and finance ministers of the 22-member Arab League's Economic
Council started talks on Friday night to put the final touches on the
economic plans.

"Arabs must arrive at resolutions that are capable of implementation to give
a push to hopes of economic integration," Esmat Abdel Meguid, the Arab
League's Secretary General, told ministers in opening remarks.

The league's foreign ministers will meet on Saturday and Sunday to finalise
the political agenda for the summit, expected to focus on Middle East peace
and Iraq.

Officials say Arab governments with differing political systems are acutely
aware that social stability hinges on raising incomes of rapidly growing
populations, a majority of whom are in abject poverty.

An era of globalism where entry barriers to local markets are crumbling
leaves them exposed to the vagaries of a free-market driven world economy.

But the fact that the success of any economic drive depends on full
political backing is not lost on Arab governments.

"Arab states have begun modest steps toward Arab economic integration and
the matter requires real Arab political will to allow success," Egyptian
Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali said.

The ministers have drafted an agenda to strengthen institutions such as the
Arab Monetary Fund and Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social

They have also focused on speedier dismantling of customs barriers also
focused on speedier dismantling of customs barriers along with unifying
specifications to help lay the basis for an eventual Arab common market.

The agenda includes open space accords for airlines, encouraging investments
and linkage between financial markets.

They will review progress on mega-infrastructure schemes such as an
electricity grid and a pipeline to transport Egyptian gas overland to
Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

"The topics do not exceed ambitions that can be attained," Jordan's Minister
of State for Economic Affairs Mohammed Halaykah said.

Halaykah said the summit would focus on tangible steps to dismantle hurdles
to a free-zone area such as reducing a long list of excluded goods that in
effect diluted the free-zone.

Egypt, the Arab world's largest market, is expected to lead a push for an
Arab common market by 2007 to serve the Arab nation's 270 million

Ghali said a common market was critical to allow Arabs, with a combined $600
billion gross domestic product, to negotiate on better terms with the World
Trade Organisation (WTO) and international economic blocs.

Inter-Arab trade still accounts for a marginal nine per cent of total Arab
foreign trade of around $300 billion annually.

Officials blame political disputes that have at times flared into open
warfare for hampering efforts to advance Arab cooperation, an old concept
first promoted with the signing of the first Arab Common Market accord in
1964, which remained unfulfilled.

The 1991 Gulf War was a major setback, they say.

Free-trade accords between Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Iraq are
already in place, but face protectionist and non-customs hurdles on the
ground, officials say.

Many Arabs look with envy at the European Union's model of cooperation where
member states who fought bloody wars surmounted what seemed to be
intractable disputes.

Houston Chronicle, 25th March

AMMAN, Jordan (Associated Press) -- Arab foreign ministers tried today to
persuade Iraq and Kuwait to agree to a compromise formula to patch over
their dispute, which has long divided the Arab world, ahead of a key summit
this week.

But the ministers were unable to reach a deal on the divisive issue of Iraq
by the time formal meetings ended. If further talks can't resolve the
dispute, Arab heads of state will have to tackle it when they gather

The summit aims at reviving the regular gatherings of Arab League leaders
that have been disrupted since the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. But
divisions are sharp over what stance the league should take on U.N.
sanctions against Iraq -- with Iraq pressing Arab leaders to call for their
immediate lifting, a stance opposed by Kuwait.

The summit in the Jordanian capital convenes amid pressure from the Arab
public that leaders address months of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has
killed more than 430 people. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi arrived Sunday
evening to attend the summit.

Under a draft statement being prepared by the ministers for the leaders'
approval, Arab leaders would underline their support for the Palestinians
and condemn what they call the continuous Israeli aggression, coercion and
siege of the Palestinian territories.

Jordanian Prime Minister Abdul-Illah Khatib said the foreign ministers urged
the U.N. Security Council to provide international protection in light of
"oppressive Israeli measures and the tyrant siege" against the Palestinians.

Across Egypt today, thousands of university students demonstrated against
Israel and urged the Arab summit to forge a united stance in support of the
Palestinians. In Damascus, Syria, eight radical Palestinian groups issued a
statement urging Arab leaders to halt normal relations with Israel. Egypt
and Jordan have peace treaties with the Jewish state, and Arab League member
Mauritania has full diplomatic ties.

The Iraq-Kuwait debate at the ministers' meeting stirred up intense feelings
and forced long hours of diplomatic shuttling between the two sides to find
common ground.

Khatib said the entire draft final statement for the summit had been decided
-- except the Iraq issue, on which consultations would continue. "We are
trying to reach a balanced text that will take into consideration the
different concerns of each side," he said.

"It will be settled. We still have time," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr

Baghdad wanted the summit to demand a lifting of U.N. sanctions and a
"negation" of the no fly zones over its territory enforced by U.S. and
British planes -- including some based in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the
Persian Gulf.

Kuwait opposed those measures and wanted a full Iraqi apology for the 1990
invasion and Arab reassurances it would not happen again -- demands that
Iraq's foreign minister refused, according to Arab diplomats.

A committee of five countries drafted a "final compromise" today that they
tried to get both sides to accept.

A minister on the committee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the
proposal underlines the need to work to lift the sanctions but does not
directly call for their abolishment. It also reiterates the need to respect
the territorial sovereignty of both countries and calls for cooperation to
resolve POW issues between the two. Both countries claim that the other is
holding prisoners from the 1991 Gulf War.



(Associated Press, 27th March): Much of the attention at the Arab summit in
Jordan has focused on Israel and Iraq; here are other issues Arab states are
slowly overcoming:

-GADHAFI AND ARAB STATES: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was incensed when
fellow Arab nations refused to endorse a 1998 African resolution rejecting
U.N. air sanctions against his nation. The sanctions were suspended after
Libya surrendered two suspects in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, one of whom
was convicted. Gadhafi has worked to promote himself as an African leader,
but attended the Amman summit.

-EGYPT AND SUDAN: Egypt and Sudan resumed full diplomatic ties last year.
Egypt has accused Sudan of supporting Muslim militants battling the
government who tried to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Sudan
denied the charges. Egypt and Sudan also are at odds over a mineral-rich
triangle of territory along their shared border.

-IRAQ AND SYRIA: Syria sided with Iran against Iraq in those nations'
1980-88 war and fought with the U.S.-led coalition against Iraq in the 1991
Gulf War. But Syria under President Bashar Assad has recently called for the
lifing of U.N. sanctions against Iraq and for welcoming Iraq back into the
Arab fold.

-ARAFAT AND SYRIA: Relations have been tense for decades, in part over
Damascus' criticism that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has given up too
much in negotiations with Israel. But Arafat attended the funeral in
Damascus last year of Syrian President Hafez Assad and held brief talks with
his son and successor, Bashar Assad.

-MOROCCO AND ALGERIA: Morocco has long accused neighboring Algeria of
supporting the Polisario Front, whose estimated 15,000 guerrillas battled
Morocco's army between 1976 and 1991 for control of the Western Sahara.
Fighting in the Sahara, a stretch of desert along Africa's Atlantic coast
abandoned by Spain in 1976, ended with a U.N.-negotiated cease fire and
plans to hold a referendum to either remain part of Morocco or become

Arabic News, 28th March


An optimism prevailed, stemming from speeches delivered on the possibility
of reaching the formula of " the state between Iraq and Kuwait" amid
intensive consultations that happened in the lobbies of the summit
especially the meeting took place between President Hosni Mubarak and the
deputy chairman of the Iraqi revolution leadership council Izzat Ibrahim.

The opening session delayed for 45 minutes, waiting for the end of the
meeting which said that during which a formula will be issued as a sort of "
declaration as a supplement to the final statement of the summit."

The Jordanian King Abdullah II inaugurated the morning opening session by
calling for one minute silence in memory of " the martyrs of the Palestinian

During this morning session which lasted for 2.5 hours speeches were made by
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in his capacity as a former President for
the summit, then King Abdullah Bin al-Hussein, the Secretary General of the
Arab League Dr. Ismat Abdul Miguid, the UN secretary general Kofi Annan, the
secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic conference Abdul Wahid
Balqaziz; the secretary general of the African Unity Organization Salem
Ahmad Salem, the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, the Lebanese President
Emil Lahoud and the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The night's session started by a speech delivered by the Tunisian President
Zein al-Abidin Bin Ali, then the Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir,
and then the Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi who asked the session to
be a closed door. After al-Qaddafi's speech the summit returned to be in
open and the speakers were respectively, the ruler of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad
Bin Issa al-Khaleifa; of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khaleifa al-Thani and the
Somali President Ahmad Salad Hassan.

Until Tuesday after noon the Omani deputy prime minister Fahd Bin Mahmoud
who led his country's delegation to the summit, was the first Arab Gulf
official who met with Izzat Ibrahim.

Arabic News, 27th March

1-The first Arab summit was in 1946 in Anshas ( Egypt) because of the
increasing Zionist danger in Palestine.

2-Beirut, November, 1956, voicing support to Egypt following the tripartite
aggression ( Israel, France and Britain).

3- Cairo, January, 1964 to discuss the Israeli projects to transfer the
waters of the Jordan's river and its tributaries.

4- Alexandria, September 1964, declaration the foundation of the Palestine
Liberation Organization.

5- Casablanca,September, 1965 support for the Palestinian people.

6- al-Khartoum, August, 1967 discussions on the results of the June 1967 war
set back and voicing support to the Arab states bordering Israel.

7- Casablanca, December 1969, discussions of financial support for the "
confrontation states ( Arab states fighting Israel)/ 8- Cairo, September,
1970 discussions on the fighting between the Jordanian Authorities and the
Palestinian resistance.

9- Algiers, November, 1973. Discussions on how to monitor the Arab- Israeli
conflict after the October war.

10- al-Rabat, October, 1974 declaration that the PLO is the sole and only
representative of the Palestinian people and finding out means to support
inter- Arab economic relations.

11- Cairo, October 1976 discussions on the incidents taking place in Lebanon
( the civil war).

12- Baghdad, November 1978 announcing rejection of the Camp David Agreements
between Egypt and Israel.

13- Tunisia, November 1979, withstanding results of the peace agreement
between Egypt and Israel and suspending Egypt's membership at the Arab

14- Amman, November 1980, discussing a strategy of common Arab work

15- Fez, November 1981 confronting the Israeli aggression against South

16- Fez, September 1982, discussing the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

17- Rabat, August, 1985 discussing the consequences of the Iraqi- Iranian

18- Amman, November 1987 Arab reconciliation summit. The summit provides for
returning Egypt back to the Arab ranks.

19- Algiers, June, 1988 the first Palestinian Intifada.

20- Casablanca, May, 1989 unifying Arab ranks and declaration of Egypt's
return to the Arab League.

21- Baghdad, may 1990 discussions of the Soviet Jews increased migration to

22- Cairo, August, 1990 the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

23- Cairo, June 1996 discussing the results of the Israeli right wing in
Israel on the possibilities of peace settlement.

24- Cairo, October 2000 on support to al-Aqsa Intifada Tomader,2669,SAV

by Neil MacFarquhar
Chicago Tribune, March 28, 2001

AMMAN, Jordan -- Arab leaders repeatedly expressed support Tuesday for the
Palestinian rebellion against Israeli rule, sometimes using the issue to
camouflage a deep Iraqi-Kuwaiti rift that is blocking any joint effort to
lift UN sanctions against Iraq.

At the first regular Arab summit gathering in more than 10 years, some of
the most soaring oratory came from President Saddam Hussein, whose speech,
delivered by a deputy, painted Iraq as the savior of the Arab people.

Ending with the line, "May God damn the Jews!" Hussein said Iraq was ready
to "liberate" Palestine and threatened that other Arab leaders would face
the wrath of their people if they did not take part.

President Bashar Assad of Syria also used his speech to lash out at Israel.
He said that in electing Ariel Sharon, a man viewed in the Arab world as a
killer for his long association with deadly attacks on Palestinians, the
Israelis showed they were not interested in peace.

In a slight departure from the past, some of the younger leaders said
pointedly that speeches were not enough. King Abdullah II of Jordan, along
with the young Syrian president, noted that summit meetings had been
producing oratory for years and that the Arab on the street wanted more.

Despite such comments, there was no immediate sign that this gathering, an
attempt to return to regular annual meetings, would move very far beyond

Meeting during the weekend, foreign ministers failed to find a middle ground
between the Iraqi and Kuwaiti positions on the sanctions.

"What has been proposed to us until now is not acceptable," said Tariq Aziz,
Iraq's deputy prime minister. Iraq wants Arab leaders to break the
sanctions, condemn U.S. and British air patrols over Iraq, and encourage
civilian flights to Baghdad.

The Kuwaitis, while agreeing the sanctions should end, balked at any Arab
stance that lacked an explicit commitment by Iraq not to threaten Kuwait.

"Iraq is responsible for the violation and destruction of Arab solidarity
when it invaded Kuwait more than 10 years ago," said Muhammad Salem
al-Sabah, Kuwait's minister of state for foreign affairs.

Hussein focused on Israel, saying 7 million Iraqis were willing to fight
Israel for the Palestinians. "By God we will bring them with an army whose
end will be in Baghdad and its forefront will make the criminal Zionist
invaders' and occupiers' blood run cold," he said.

The speech, which was read by Izzat Ibrahim, vice president of the
Revolutionary Command Council, said the blockade of Iraq and the battle of
the Palestinian people should be considered one issue.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan used his remarks to the gathering to suggest
that Iraq comply with Security Council resolutions, saying Iraq will
accomplish more through cooperation, not confrontation.

In electing Sharon to be their leader, Syria's Assad said, Israelis had
chosen a man who hated anything to do with Arabs.

"We say that the head of the government is a racist, it's a racist
government, a racist army and security force," he said, adding that by
extension, "It is a racist society and it is even more racist than the

To show his support for the Palestinians, Assad met with Yasser Arafat, whom
his father had ostracized for decades.

Arabic News, 28th March

The Saudi foreign minister prince Saud al-Faisal has renewed his country's
rejection to any military acts that might be taken against Iraq, noting that
the final statement of the Arab summit will include his country's assertion
to not permit that her land will be a starting point to any military acts
against Iraq.

In a statement to the Saudi daily al-Jazira, the Saudi foreign minister said
that Saudi Arabia has been always against the military acts against Iraq. He
explained that Saudi Arabia has conveyed its vision concerning the military
operations against Iraq to the US secretary of state Colin Powell during his
recent visit to the region.

Bahrain Tribune, 29th March

AMMAN: The Arab summit yesterday asked Jordan¹s King Abdullah II to
undertake further consultations and contacts to improve the execrable
relations between Iraq and Kuwait for the sake of Arab ³solidarity²

The summit commissions Jordan¹s King Abdullah II to carry out contacts ...
on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait for the sake of Arab solidarity,²
said the League¹s secretary general, Esmat Abdel Meguid

He was speaking at the closing session of a two-day Arab summit divided on
Iraq but united in its support for the Palestinian uprising against Israel

The decision to entrust King Abdullah with the delicate task of resolving
differences between Iraq and Kuwait was a separate recommendation not
contained in a final set of resolutions

Iraq earlier refused to endorse a three-point draft resolution on its ties
with Kuwait, which accepted the document

³I am not opposed to the decision by the summit to entrust the question of
the situation (between Iraq and Kuwait) to King Abdullah but I would like to
underscore that there is Arab consensus here on the resolution,² Kuwaiti
Foreign Minister Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said

³This should be made clear. All the Arab countries (except Iraq) approved
the draft on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait because it is in the
interest of Kuwait, Iraq and the Arab nation,² Shaikh Sabah said

The Kuwaiti official was specifically asked to speak to make that point. ­

Bahrain Tribune, 29th March

AMMAN: Following is an unofficial translation of the Arabic-language text of
a draft resolution on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq has
reportedly turned down the document while Kuwait has accepted its terms

³In appreciation of the grave circumstances facing the Arab nation, and the
regional and international challenges confronting it, and due to its concern
to solve all the pending problems, particularly the situation between Iraq
and Kuwait, and in order to avoid their repetition and to re-establish Arab
solidarity, the Arab leaders have decided the following:

1. Reaffirmation of the need to respect the Charter of the Arab League and
its objectives and to preserve national Arab security, on the basis of the
integrity and sovereignty of each country over its territory, its natural
resources and its rights, non-interference and the non use of force or
threats and a commitment to solve disputes through peaceful means and

2. (A) Reaffirmation of the independence and sovereignty of the State of
Kuwait, the preservation of its security and territorial unity, within its
internationally-recognised borders, non-interference in its internal
affairs, the need for Iraq to respect these principles and to adopt policies
capable of respecting them

(B) Reaffirmation of the respect of the independence and sovereignty of
Iraq. Calling to a halt all measures that undermine its sovereignty and
threatens its security, particularly those taken outside UN Security Council
Resolutions, namely military strikes

(C) Calling on Iraq to implement all the commitments contained in the UN
Security Council Resolutions to resolve the problem of the Kuwaiti prisoners
and to restore Kuwaiti property

(D) Putting an end to all the pending issues related to weapons of mass
destruction and their control through negotiations between Iraq and the UN
Security Council in order to complete a resolution on this issue in an
equitable and rapid way, in order to set up a zone free of weapons of mass
destruction in the Middle East

3. (A) A call for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Iraq

(B) The taking of necessary steps to resume commercial flights with Iraq

(C) A call for co-operation to resolve the question of Iraqi missing persons
with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross. ­ AFP

by Howard Schneider, Washington Post Service
International Herald Tribune, 29th March

AMMAN, Jordan Arab leaders approved on Wednesday a $240 million emergency
bailout of the Palestinian National Authority, scaling back earlier
unfulfilled financial promises with a more modest monthly stipend meant to
keep Yasser Arafat's government afloat while the uprising against Israel

But the leaders failed to reach agreement over what they have termed "the
situation between Iraq and Kuwait," issuing a 52- point final declaration
that committed King Abdullah II of Jordan to work toward a reconciliation of
the two countries but which included no other mention of one of the Arab
world's chief divisions

A separate communique said the 22 members of the Arab League would continue
to work toward a lifting of international sanctions against Iraq, but the
outcome left Iraqi officials angry over a "hardheaded" attitude they blamed
on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia

Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, triggering the Gulf War. During the days of
recent meetings aimed at reconciling the two, Kuwait said it agreed
sanctions against Iraq had gone on too long, but it wanted an apology for
the invasion, a commitment that it would not be repeated, and a pledge by
Iraq to abide by United Nations resolutions approved after the war

Iraq refused and charged that Kuwait had no grounds to fret over its
national security with U.S. troops and planes still based there

"Are the Kuwaitis respecting our sovereignty?" Foreign Minister Mohammed
Said Sahaf asked. "There are daily flights hurting our people."

American and British planes based in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia patrol a
no-flight zone over southern Iraq

The sharp words concluded a session that took place amid intensifying
Palestinian-Israeli violence - a series of car and suicide bombs detonated
inside Israel, followed by retaliatory Israeli strikes Wednesday night in
the Palestinian territories

The meeting nevertheless was considered a success for having made the most
comprehensive Arab effort yet to heal Gulf War divisions

Along with major issues like Kuwait and the Palestinians, they addressed a
grab bag of other topics in an effort to keep their loose knit family at
peace - calling for the lifting of sanctions against Libya, for example, and
characterizing a Libyan, Abdel Basset Meguid, as a political "hostage"
despite his conviction in a Scottish court on charges of planting a bomb
that destroyed a Pan American airliner over Scotland

To demonstrate the Arabs' newly flowering relations, the Libyan leader,
Moammar Gadhafi, cheerfully agreed at the end to give $1 million to the
Comoros Islands, a nation, along with Somalia and Djibouti, that many Arabs
in the Middle East were surprised to discover at the summit table

While the debate over Iraq and Kuwait dominated much of the meeting's
attention, the decision to begin monthly funding of the Palestinian
Authority represented the one substantive breakthrough of the two-day

At an October summit, pledges of $1 billion were made to aid the Palestinian
cause and its goal of keeping Arab control of Muslim holy sites in East

Little of the money was turned over, leaving the Authority near bankruptcy
with its local economy in tatters and Israel withholding tax and customs
receipts collected on its behalf. But it also demonstrates the limits of
Arab action even for a cause which rhetoric places at the fore of Arab
consciousness, and which public opinion strongly favors

"We can only salute the children of Palestine, these heroes," said the
Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. "They give their innocence to
defend the land."

The approval of the money was accompanied by harsh condemnations of Israel,
criticism of the U.S. for vetoing an international observer force in the
Palestinian territories, a demand that Israeli "war criminals" be tried, and
a threat to sever relations with any country that moved its capital to
Jerusalem while it remained under Israeli control

But compared to earlier Arab summits, including one that issued three "no's"
to negotiation, reconciliation and recognition, of Israel, it is a moderate

Over the decades, the Arab states waged war against Israel, and deployed an
oil embargo against the west in an effort to weaken and vanquish Israel

Those tactics are no longer even seriously discussed.

Bahrain Tribune, 29th March

AMMAN: Here are excerpts, translated by Reuters, from the final communique
of the two day Arab summit that ended in Amman yesterday

o The Arab leaders salute the Palestinian people on its heroic uprising
against the ferocious aggression launched by Israel and its confrontation of
the barbaric oppression exerted by the occupation. The leaders declare their
backing for the Palestinian people in its heroic struggle and support for
its uprising and legitimate right in resisting the occupation until their
national and just rights are achieved, including the right of return and the
establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its sacred capital

o The leaders denounce Israel¹s continuous aggression against the
Palestinian people and its violations of human rights, especially the
collective punishment and continued attacks on vital institutions and which
constitute war crimes against humanity and racist practices.

o The leaders call on the (UN) Security Council to shoulder the
responsibility of providing the necessary international protection for the
Palestinian people and to try Israeli war criminals who committed massacres
and crimes against Arabs in the occupied territories.

o The leaders express their dismay at the US veto at the Security Council
that blocked the formation of an international observer force in the
occupied territories. They declare their total rejection of the American
justifications which do not conform with the role of the United States as a
co-sponsor of the peace process and a permanent member at the Security

o The leaders hail the Higher Council for the Al-Aqsa Fund and the Jerusalem
Intifada Fund for its quick response to support the budget of the
Palestinian Authority by paying $15 million of a soft loan that was approved
from a total of $60 million in line with a proposal submitted by Saudi

o In view of the difficult financial and economic situation lived by the
Palestinian people, they delegate the Higher Council of the two funds to
respond to the Palestinian Authority¹s request to pay an additional amount
($180 million) to support the authority¹s budget for the next six months.

o The leaders welcome Iraq¹s allocation of one billion euros from its oil
export sales to secure humanitarian and basic needs for the Palestinian
people and to help the families of the martyrs of the Intifada.

o The Arab leaders warn Israel against the repercussions of departing from
the foundations and principles of the peace process laid down in Madrid in
1991 and warn against the outcome of ignoring it or presenting alternatives
that do not conform to the basis of international legitimacy.

o The Arab leaders ask Arab countries to continue the suspension of
multilateral talks and halt all regional economic co-operation and
activities with Israel and to firmly confront Israel¹s endeavours to
penetrate in the Arab world under any cover and to stop establishing any
relations with Israel.

o They demand the reactivation of the Arab boycott against Israel through
the regular convening of boycott conferences called by the main boycott
office to prevent dealings with Israel.

o They call for setting a clear Arab strategy to uncover Israeli schemes
which do not seek peace and threaten security.

o They pledge their support for Lebanon and Syria and reject Israeli threats
which have escalated recently against the two countries. They praise the
Lebanese resistance against Israeli occupation and call for the release of
all Lebanese detainees and prisoners in Israeli prisons.

o The leaders affirm that achieving peace and security in the region require
Israel to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to put all Israeli nuclear
installations under international inspection. They confirm the importance of
ridding the region of nuclear and mass destruction weapons.

o The Arab leaders renew their backing and solidarity with Libya in
demanding that the Security Council immediately and completely lift the
sanctions imposed on Libya...after Libya fulfilled all the commitments
stipulated in the Security Council...The leaders support Libya in its demand
to obtain compensation for human and material losses it incurred because of
the sanctions.

o The leaders agree that the next annual summit would be held in Lebanon in

o The leaders agree to select Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa as
secretary-general of the Arab League. ­ Reuters

by Daniel Sobelman
Ha'aretz, 29th March

The Arab League Summit ended last night with unanimous Arab condemnation of
Israel and divisions on what to do about Iraq

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said in a ministry statement that, "The
summit's conclusion is an obstacle to peace and only worsens the hostility
between the sides, by attempting to dictate a one-sided policy instead of
returning to the negotiating table, where the two sides are equal and make

"The world can not accept the interpretation the summit gave to the
land-for-peace formula, whereby Israel gives land but does not get peace,"
Peres said. "Israel does not want to rule another people, and its government
is against collective punishment. Israel has taken a long series of steps to
ease the burden on the Palestinian civilian population. And even while
facing a terrorist front, Israel does not give up its desire to bring peace
to the entire region," Peres noted

The Arab summit's condemnation of Israel included unanimous support for the
Palestinians, called for sending an international force to the region to
protect the Palestinians from Israeli "war criminals," and claimed Israel
used weapons banned by international treaties. The Arab leaders also warned
against the results of Israel's "retreat" from the principles of the peace
process launched in Madrid in 1991

They vowed to send $240 million to the Palestinians over the coming six
months, and reconfirmed the boycott of the multinational talks and a freeze
on all cooperation with Israel. The summit also called on the Arab League to
reinstate the dormant boycott against Israel

U.S. reaction to the summit's anti-Israeli sentiment was blunt: Washington
rejected as totally unacceptable Syrian President Bashar Assad's
condemnation of Israel as a racist society, "more racist than the Nazis."

"Assad's statement at the summit meeting in Amman is totally unacceptable
and inappropriate," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. The
senior American diplomat also expressed Bush administration opposition to
renewal of the Arab boycott against Israel

While the summit's communique said Arab countries should forge no new
diplomatic or economic ties with Israel, it did not demand that Egypt and
Jordan, which have peace treaties with Israel, should break their relations
with the Jewish state

On the matter of Iraq, the summit's final communique said a committee led by
Jordan's King Abdullah would pursue discussions on the "situation between
Iraq and Kuwait." The rift over Iraq, festering since the 1990-91 Gulf
crisis, proved unbridgeable, despite intense mediation efforts involving
several Arab nations which had sought a last-minute compromise

"The Kuwaiti delegation drove the summit to failure," Iraqi Foreign Minister
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf told reporters, claiming Kuwait had rejected a
compromise drafted by five Arab leaders. Kuwait Minister of State for
Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed al-Sabah said earlier that his country wanted
Iraq to guarantee it would not repeat its 1990 invasion

Arab leaders welcomed an Iraqi pledge to give Palestinians one billion euros
($887 million) - although the U.N. Security Council, which controls
Baghdad's oil revenues, has rejected the idea

Asked if he was happy with the summit's outcome, Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser Arafat replied: "Yes. There were very strong decisions that
have been accepted by all the members."

The Arab leaders at the summit expressed their "dismay" at the U.S. veto in
the Security Council on Tuesday that blocked sending an international
observer force to the West Bank and Gaza

The summit appointed Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa as
secretary-general of the Arab League, replacing fellow-Egyptian Esmat Abdel
Magid, who has served two five-year terms. Arab leaders, holding their first
ordinary summit since the 1990-91 Gulf crisis, agreed to convene the next
Arab League Summit in Lebanon in 2002

The debate over Iraq's conflict with Kuwait took most of the energies of the
Amman gathering right up to the last minute. "Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have
shown great flexibility, but Iraq ... will have wasted a fine chance if it
does not accept this proposal," Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said of the

Officials from Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates,
Qatar and Syria tried in vain to produce language acceptable to Iraq and its
Gulf War foes, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, in meetings that delayed wrapping up
the final session by two hours

Baghdad wants the Arab world to help it throw off 11 years of U.N. sanctions
and get rid of U.S.-British air patrols that enforce "no-fly zones" in
northern and southern Iraq

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which still distrust their Gulf neighbor, want Iraq
to comply with Security Council resolutions, including those that demand the
scrapping of its weapons of mass destruction

Times of India, 30th March

BAGHDAD: The outcome of the Arab summit in Amman was disappointing, a senior
Iraqi MP said on Thursday, as Baghdad said that the meeting resulted in only
the bare minimum it wanted on the Palestinian issue and sanctions on Iraq

"The results of the summit were disappointing with regards to the
Palestinian intifada (uprising) and the lifting of the embargo on Iraq,"
Salem al-Qabissi, head of the parliamentary commission on Arab and
international relations, said

The results "do not respond to the expectations of Arab peoples," Qabissi

Iraq had demanded that Arab leaders unilaterally break the sanctions on
Baghdad, under embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait

The summit's "Amman declaration" called simply for "the lifting of sanctions
against Iraq," but the issue was omitted from the summit's separate final

Iraq rejected a three-point draft resolution, which was agreed to by Kuwait,
despite last ditch efforts by Jordan's King Abdullah II, who was charged
with trying to reconcile the differences between Iraq and Kuwait, and
several Arab leaders

Radio Baghdad announced on Thursday that Iraqi number two Ezzat Ibrahim, who
addressed the summit on behalf of president Saddam Hussein, had extended his
stay for a "few days" in the Jordanian capital

He was accompanied by foreign minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf, the radio
said, without giving details of their stay

"Kuwait dug its heels in with no reason over the vote on the draft
resolution proposed by the summit" for a settlement between Iraq and Kuwait,
Sahhaf said, quoted in Iraqi newspapers

Sahhaf said "Kuwaiti leaders wanted to block the summit through their

Al-Iraq, mouthpiece of Kurds loyal to Saddam's regime, accused Kuwait of
"having conformed to a mission defined by the Americans to block any
positive initiative in favour of the Palestinian issue

"Kuwait's representatives came to kill the Amman summit with an American
knife whose piercing blade was in Amman but whose handle was in Washington
held by (US Secretary of State) Colin Powell," the paper said

Qabissi charged the US administration with "exercising direct and indirect
pressure to prevent the summit from reaching bold resolutions in the
interests of the Arab nation."

"Fear of the US influenced the composition of resolutions adopted by Arab
leaders," Ath Thawra paper said, adding that the "leaders of Kuwait and
others ... represented the United States, speaking in its name and applying
its orders."

"The resolutions and recommendations from the summit offered the bare
minimum required on the two main issues: that of Palestine and the sanctions
imposed on Iraq," charged the mouthpiece of the ruling Baath party

"The Iraqi people are counting on their capability to continue resisting
until sanctions are lifted," Baghdad resident Ziyad Hamid said

The state employee said that he was sorry the "summit did not support Iraq's
request to resume flights to Baghdad for fear of offending the United States
even while the air embargo has no legal basis."

The rate of the dollar to the Iraqi dinar, a realistic barometer of
political and economic life in Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War, went up another
45 dinars on Thursday to 1,780 dinars to one greenback

"We were expecting some measures to be taken during the summit to ease the
embargo but the failure of the meeting has depressed the market," one money
exchanger said. (AFP)

Jordan News Agency

Amman, March 28, (Petra)---Following is the full text of Amman Declaration
issued on Wednesday at the closing session of the 13th ordinary Arab summit:

We, Kings, President and Emirs of the Arab countries, convened our summit in
its 13th ordinary session in Amman, after we had conducted an overall
assessment of the inter-Arab relations, the current Arab circumstances, and
in light of the challenges facing the nation, the threats infringing the
Arab nation's security and the situation the Mideast peace process has come
to, taking into consideration the international changes particularly the
information revolution, globalization and the emergence of gigantic regional
blocs, and in the wake of our willingness to further boost inter-Arab
relations to achieve the supreme objectives of the Arab nation, we declare
the following:

We adhere to our national bonds of brotherhood that brings together Arab
nation's citizens and unite their objectives, to the principles of the Arab
League's charter and to the preservation of the pan-Arab national security
on the basis respecting the sovereignty of each country on its land,
resources and rights and prohibiting interference in internal affairs and
the use of force or threat and the commitment to settle disputes through
peaceful means.

We affirm our commitment to the decision to convene the Arab summit
regularly and on its fixed date due to its significance to give momentum to
the joint Arab action.

We stress the need to pursue efforts to further cement Arab solidarity and
to revive the joint Arab action to achieve Arab economic integration
according to a new approach based on objective and realistic rules and on
accumulative and gradual work that safeguards each country's uniqueness and
national interests and simultaneously achieves continuous sectoral
cooperation and coordination among Arab institutions and bodies having
similar orientations and views.

We support interaction among Arab citizens in the Arab countries to further
strengthen links and to safeguard their interests and enhance their role to
contribute to the march of Arab development which will have a positive
impact on fortifying the nation and protecting its identity. We encourage
interaction with other cultures and civilizations stemming from the noble
message of Islam that rejects racism and calls for tolerance and
co-existence on the basis of mutual respect and on safeguarding legitimate

We offer full assistance to the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese brethren in
their strife to restore their legitimate rights, affirming that the Israeli
withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories particularly Jerusalem, the
Syrian Golan heights and the Lebanese Sheba Farms till the 4 June 1967
borderline is the only means to realize just and comprehensive peace in the
Middle East. The realization of this peace is the sole guarantee to provide
security for all, which is closely associated to freeing the region from
weapons of mass-destruction foremost of which is Israel's nuclear weapons.

In this regard, we appeal to the international community and all the parties
concerned with international peace and security to shoulder their
responsibilities within a comprehensive and balanced criteria. We call for
lifting the sanctions on Iraq and for dealing with the humanitarian issues
pertaining to Iraqi, Kuwaiti and other prisoners of war according to the
principles of our religion and national heritage.

We call upon all Arabs to raise up the minor differences, to pursue efforts
to achieve inter Arab reconciliation and to refrain from whatever that may
harm Arab solidarity or may threaten the Arab national security or the
national security of any country including the role of media- without
affecting freedom of speech- in moulding the national public opinion that
supports the joint Arab action and defends the Arab nation's causes and the
citizens' rights most significant of which is the rights of the Arab

We urge every Arab country to taking the necessary steps, each according to
its own circumstances, to speed up the establishment of the Arab great free
trade zone and to offer full support to the Arab ministerial commission
entrusted to follow up the implementation of Amman Arab summit resolutions.

We express our appreciation to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan under the
leadership of His Majesty king Abdullah II for its efforts exerted and
distinctive preparations made to host this summit, affirming our full
confidence in His Majesty's leadership of the joint Arab action with utmost
wisdom, responsibility and keenness to enhance efforts to boost Arab

The Arab leaders entrusted His Majesty King Abdullah, President of the
summit to conduct consultations with Arab leaders and the Arab league to
continue discussing the "Situation between Iraq and Kuwait,".


by Nissar Hoath, Abu Dhabi
Gulf News, 29th March

The United Arab Emirates yesterday called on the United Nations to
reconsider its policy on economic sanctions. The call was made by Deputy
Prime Minister Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a speech delivered by
Sheikh Hasher Maktoum, Dubai Director of Information, at a seminar here

The two-day "International Seminar on the Culture of Peace and the Arab
Issue", was organised by the Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-Up to
discuss issues concerning regional and world stability

Sheikh Sultan strongly criticised the sanctions on Iraq, Libya and Sudan,
and called for them to be lifted. "May humanity be spared the tragedy of war
and the unjust blockades and sanctions imposed on innocent people, as
witnessed in Iraq, Sudan and Libya."

Such tragedies haunt the human conscience, he said. "We look forward to more
humane relations everywhere and for the elimination of the spectre of fear
from unjust sanctions." It is time for the United Nations to reconsider its
approach to its responsibilities without favouring one party at the expense
of others, he said

The Deputy Prime Minister criticised the UN on the Middle East peace
process, saying the world struggles with the principles of international
legitimacy, but in the case of the Palestinian issue the position of the
world body is at best dismissive

"The Holy Land, the cradle of holy messengers and prophets, and where the
Palestinians have lived for millennia, has been submerged in the worst kind
of violence, oppression and torment."

Sheikh Sultan also said that what is happening in Palestine not only affects
the Palestinians but also disgraces human dignity. "And here I will
reiterate what President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
said: 'The Palestinian question is the core of the Arab Israeli struggle,
and there will be no peace without the establishment of an independent
Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital'."

He also expressed fear over the increasing threat of Israeli nuclear,
chemical and biological weapons. Israel seeks to maintain its superiority
not only by stockpiling such weapons of mass destruction, but also by
striving to deny the Arab world parity

"Coerced peace is no peace at all. Peace in our region cannot be realised
under the coercion of violence, and force cannot foster genuine and enduring
peace, which can only be achieved through dialogue," he said.


Tehran Times, 28th March

KUWAIT - Iran's Ambassador to Kuwait Ali Jannati told a Kuwaiti daily that
relations between Iran and regional states are in a good status and that the
main strategy of the Islamic Republic is to consolidate ties with these

The Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas in its Monday edition quoted Jannati as saying
that relations between Iran and the Persian Gulf littoral states were

He said however that certain countries in and outside the region were trying
to mar relations between Iran and its neighbors and to obstruct their

He added that Iranian and Kuwaiti experts are soon to start talks on
continental shelf per an [sic - PB, as per an?] agreement reached between
the Iranian and Kuwaiti oil ministers

The diplomat said Iran has built many dams and acquired experiences in the
field of water reserves and now it has the potential to transfer water to
other countries

He said that regional states cannot rely on their water disalination plants
in the long run considering growing pollution of the Persian Gulf waters

He added that since two years ago, a Iran-Kuwait-UK consortium has been
studying feasibility of a project for transfer of Iran's water to Kuwait

Jannati said early studies have been made by the consortium on transfer of
water from Karkhe dam southwest of Iran to Kuwait

He said the project will be in interest of Iran and Kuwait, serving to
promote cooperation between the two countries

He added that there will be international guarantees for transfer of Iran's
water to Kuwait for the next 20 years

On Iran-iraq ties, Jannati said following the eight-year (1980- 88) imposed
war, Iran made efforts to resume ties with iraq, given the long borders
shared by the two sides

Jannati said there are still problems remaining unsolved such as the issue
of Iranian prisoners of war (POWs) kept in iraq, abundant damage inflicted
on Iran during the war, destruction of 11 border cities and refineries as
well as industrial plants and installations, and for this reason efforts to
resume amicable ties between the two countries have not been fruitful

He termed Iran-Syria ties as strategic'' and said the ties were founded by
father of the Islamic Revolution and Founder of the Islamic Republic the
late Imam Khomeini and the late Syrian president Hafiz al-Assad and nothing
can affect bilateral ties

Asked on Iran-Egypt ties, Jannati said relations between Tehran and Cairo
are improving with the two countries continuing their efforts to remove
minor problems and obstacles

On Iran-Russian military cooperation, Jannati said the agreements reached
between the two countries are not against any country and will not affect
the level of ties between Iran and her neighboring states

He said it is Iran's right to defend herself against enemies and if the
budget spent by Iran for arms purchases is compared with that of other
regional states, including the UAE, it will be clear that Iran stands at the
bottom of the list. (IRNA)

Arabic News, 29th March

Morocco and Iraq will hold the 9th session of their joint commission this
March 31 through April 3 in Baghdad, it was officially announced in Rabat

Morocco's minister of industry, trade, energy and mining, Mustapha Mansouri,
will lead the Moroccan delegation to the meeting

Baghdad will also host an exhibition of made-in-Morocco food,
pharmaceutical, electronic and mechanic products with the participation of
120 Moroccan companies

Last February, Moroccan economic daily "L'Economiste" reported that five
Moroccan enterprises have struck in the second half of last year $ 100
million-worth of UN-authorized deals

According to the paper some contracts are still suspended by a UN commission
over suspicions that the supplies could have a double use, such as a $ 1.2
million contract for the supply of computer equipment and a $ 2.2 million
contract of irrigation machinery

by Douglas Frantz, New York Times
San Francisco Chronicle, 30th March

Habur, Turkey -- Deep in the dusty southeastern corner of Turkey, closer to
Baghdad than to Istanbul, a line of 200 aging tanker trucks stretches for
half a mile along the highway as drivers wait to unload Iraqi diesel fuel at
a depot run by the Turkish government.

The trucks are returning from Iraq with full tanks on the last leg of a
journey that openly flouts the U.N. economic embargo against Baghdad. It is
sanctions-busting smuggling regulated and taxed by the Turkish government
and tolerated by the United Nations and the United States.

Estimates on the volume of Iraqi oil and diesel fuel passing through Habur
Gate, the only legal crossing between Iraq and Turkey, range from $300
million to $600 million a year. Western diplomats calculate that the illicit
business puts $120 million a year in the pocket of President Saddam Hussein.

"This trade is outside the sanctions system," said a senior Turkish
official, who spoke on the condition his name not be used. "But I would say
it is indispensable for Turkey, and we are sensitive not to allow it to help
Iraq acquire weapons of mass destruction."

There is, however, no way to monitor what Iraq does with the revenue.

Western diplomats say the trade has increased as oil prices have climbed.
They justify turning a blind eye because the money helps the battered
economy in this volatile region of Turkey, an important American ally. The
trade also is the chief source of income for northern Iraq's Kurdistan
Democratic Party, which opposes Hussein.

Because of the political considerations, the smuggling continues and
underscores a quandary confronting the Bush administration as it shapes its
sanctions policy.

The United States and Britain have been under pressure from other members of
the U.N. Security Council to ease the sanctions. One contention is that the
borders are porous anyway; experts say illegal goods and oil flow overland
from Jordan and Syria and through boats in the Persian Gulf. Another
argument is that the sanctions on Iraq have inflicted the most damage on the
Iraqi people and neighboring countries.

Turkey has been hard hit by the embargo. Iraq was not only a major trading
partner, but also a conduit for getting Turkish agricultural products into
the Middle East. Turkish officials say the embargo has cost the economy $35
billion to $40 billion, and the country's current economic crisis has
increased pressure to expand trade with Iraq.

Secretary of State Colin Powell is trying to develop sanctions that will
allow more consumer goods into Iraq and tighten the rein on Hussein's
ability to buy weapons. But any attempt to loosen controls is likely to face
opposition from hard-liners at the Pentagon and conservative Republicans in

Iraq is allowed to sell oil under U.N. supervision only through a pipeline
to Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, and by ship through Mina al Bakr,
a Persian Gulf port. Proceeds go into an account administered by the United
Nations to buy food, medicine and other goods and to pay war reparations.

To gain more control over its oil revenues and try to defeat the sanctions,
Iraq has been sending oil through an unauthorized pipeline to Syria. It also
increased sales of low-grade fuel oil and diesel fuel to the truckers who
ply their trade through Habur Gate.

Turkish and Western government officials as well as truckers said Iraq sold
the oil and diesel fuel to the Kurdistan Peoples Party, despite its
opposition to Baghdad. The party is an independent force that controls the
border on the Iraqi side.

Masoud Barzani, the head of the Kurdish party, marks up the price, adds a
tax and resells it to truckers. The revenue helps Barzani cement his control
over the border area and makes the towns and villages relatively prosperous,
diplomats said.

A 31-year-old Turkish truck driver said he paid 14 cents a liter for diesel
fuel in Iraq, including a 2-cent tax. He said he normally waited at least
three days to load because the lines were so long.

Once loaded, truckers said, 2,000 or more trucks are often lined up at the
border because Turkey allows only 450 tankers a day back into the country.
Turkish officials said the limit was necessary so trucks can be inspected
for other smuggling.

The volume of tankers remains far below pre-embargo levels, and the
landscape is dotted with thousands of hulks of rusting tankers, described by
one official as "martyrs to the embargo." Officials estimate that 40,000 to
50, 000 trucks now haul oil and diesel fuel from Iraq into Turkey.

By 1999, the illegal trade accounted for a quarter of Turkey's diesel fuel
consumption, and that was when the government stepped in to institutionalize
the smuggling with new regulations. Truckers who had made at least a trip a
month were limited to one every three months. Instead of selling diesel fuel
on the open market, they were required to unload at the government depot in
nearby Silopi and pay taxes.

The government profited two ways -- by taxing the fuel and by reselling it
to distributors at a higher price. The depot collected $74 million in taxes
in its first four months in late 1999, but officials said more recent
figures were not available.

"With our controls, it is almost impossible to get anything through,"
Abdullah Erin, the deputy governor who runs the customs gate, said as he
strolled through a lot filled with trucks awaiting examination.

Erin and Huseyin Baskaya, the provincial governor, insisted that the trade
operated within U.N. sanctions. Baskaya even said he was establishing a
company to take part in the business, with profits earmarked for civic

Arabic News, 30th March

Baghdad radio said on Thursday afternoon that deputy chairman of the
revolution's leadership in Iraq Izzat Ibrahim has extended his visit to
Jordan. The Arab country which was assigned by the Arab summit to follow up
contacts to reach reconciliation between Baghdad and Kuwait

While the radio announced the return back of the Iraqi deputy prime minister
Tareq Aziz, it noted that the visit of Ibrahim to Jordan will last for "
several days."

The Iraqi radio did not mention other details on the program of the visit in
which Ibrahim is accompanied by the foreign minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahaf

Ibrahim had presided over the Iraqi delegation to the summit conference
which concluded its deliberations in Amman on Wednesday without reaching an
agreement between Iraq and Kuwait


Independent, 30 March 2001

The UN Security Council said it is "of crucial importance" that Iraq resumes
its participation in an international committee set up after the 1991 Gulf
war to look into the issue of missing persons and prisoners of war.

Council members also urged Iraq "to fully cooperate with all agencies and
bodies dealing with this issue in order to achieve progress in resolving
this humanitarian problem."

The council issued a statement expressing concern at the plight of Kuwaiti
POWs and missing persons after council president Volodymyr Yel'chenko of
Ukraine briefed members on his March 23 meeting with Sheik Salem Al Sabah,
chairman of Kuwait's National Committee for Missing Persons and Prisoners of
War Affairs.

Kuwait says it cannot consider reconciling with Baghdad until Iraq accounts
for the 600 missing Kuwaitis and other nationals, and implements all
Security Council resolutions.

Baghdad maintains it has released all war prisoners, but lost track of 127
in an uprising after the war. It has withdrawn from an international
committee looking into the issue, accusing Kuwait of failing to account for
1,150 missing Iraqis.

Kuwait has said it is willing to prove to international observers that it
holds no Iraqi prisoners from Iraq's 1990­1991 occupation of its territory
and the war that liberated the country.


Dawn (Pakistan), 31st March

KARACHI, March 30: The Iraqi health minister, Dr Omed Madhat Mubarak,
arrived here, from Baghdad, on a 4-day visit to Pakistan. At the airport, Dr
Omed was welcomed by the provincial health minister, Ahsan Ahmed, besides
the chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau, Tariq Ikram, and the provincial
health secretary, Khalid Lateef Choudhry.

Before Dr Omed's departure for Islamabad, the two ministers sat in the
lounge area and exchanged views on matters of common interests.

Mr Ahmed briefed the Iraqi minister about the progress made by Pakistan's
pharmaceutical industry and said that local companies had reached a stage
where they were capable of manufacturing medicines of international quality,
and compete with multinational companies based in the Middle East, Africa
and Central Asian Republics, in exports.

The minister was further told that despite the fact that Pakistani
enterprises were importing raw material from abroad, the medicines
manufactured by them were cheaper than the products of multinational

He said that Pakistan could also help in the construction of new hospitals
in Iraq, through competitive bidding against foreign companies.

Dr Omed thanked the government and the people of Pakistan and praised the
fact that despite restrictions, all possible assistance was being extended
to Iraq.

After a 2-day stay in Islamabad, Dr Omed will return to Karachi, on Sunday
night, to hold a meeting with the Sindh health minister at his Sindh
Secretariat office, on Monday. -APP

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