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"Allies seek easing of Iraq sanctions" - ?

A lot of unanswered questions about what the proposals involve, but the
article claims we should see a draft resolution by "next week".

BBC News

Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK
Allies seek easing of Iraq sanctions
By the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Barnaby Mason

Britain and the United States are proposing to end the United Nations ban
on the supply of goods to Iraq, with the exception of military and
weapons-related equipment.

This is a significant change of policy towards Iraq.

British officials say they will be circulating a draft Security Council
resolution in New York next week.

At the same time, discussions are being held with countries in the Gulf
region to tighten border controls on Iraq.


The proposals are the result of a review of policy towards Iraq conducted
by the new Bush administration and discussions among members of the
Security Council.

The idea is to incorporate the changes into the regular six-monthly
resolution renewing the arrangement under which Iraq is allowed to buy
food, medicine and other supplies under what's called oil-for-food.

This time, British officials say, the resolution due at the beginning of
June would in effect remove sanctions from what they call ordinary imports
into Iraq.

Controls would remain on a list of weapons-related items.

It is a significant change: from a system where Iraq cannot import
anything unless it is permitted, to one where it can import everything
except what is prohibited.

It is not known how many items will be on the banned list.

Existing Security Council resolutions remain in place, and the relaxation
would have to be renewed like the oil-for-food programme every six months.

The US and Britain are also insisting on maintaining the controls on
Iraq's oil revenues, which have to be paid into a special UN account.

Of course, the Iraqi Government cannot be compelled to buy the civilian
supplies the UN says it needs - but if it does not, British officials say,
it will be absolutely clear that it is President Saddam Hussein who is
inflicting suffering on his people.

The officials say the aims of the proposed resolution are widely shared.

But the attitude of the French and the Russians is not yet clear.

The other part of the plan is an effort to tighten up border controls on
Iraq to prevent military-related material being smuggled in.

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