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resolution formally introduced today



Britain is formally introducing its new 'smart' sanctions resolution today,
Tuesday 22nd May. Voices UK will be holding a demonstration outside the FCO
at 1pm today ('Smart sanctions': a deadly fraud). Please come along if you
can (opportunity to dress up as Robin Cook, free of charge).

Best wishes,

Gabriel

MAY 22, 02:49 EST

China in No Hurry to OK Sanctions

By EDITH M. LEDERER
Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP)  Iraq has rejected a British proposal to lift U.N.
sanctions on civilian goods, and its two main Security Council supporters,
China and Russia, indicated they're in no hurry to approve the U.S.-backed
plan.

Britain gave the other four veto-wielding members of the Security Council a
draft of its proposals at a meeting Monday and said it would formally
introduce the resolution to the full 15-member council on Tuesday.

Iraq has repeatedly demanded that all sanctions be lifted immediately, and
President Saddam Hussein on Monday flatly rejected the British proposal. He
said on Iraqi TV that it represented a ``declaration that the embargo
imposed on Iraq has failed to achieve its basic goals.''

The draft resolution would lift restrictions on all goods entering Iraq
except for a list of restricted items, legalize passenger and cargo flights
in and out of the country, and allow Iraq to use some of its oil money to
pay its back U.N. dues.

At the same time, it would keep U.N. financial control of Iraq's oil money
and attempt to toughen enforcement of the decade-old arms embargo against
Saddam Hussein's government and crack down on illegal Iraqi oil smuggling.

The British and Americans are pushing to have the easing of sanctions
incorporated into the next extension of the U.N. oil-for-food program, which
was established in late 1996 to help ordinary Iraqis cope with sanctions
imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to sell oil under strict U.N. financial
controls, provided the money goes to buy food and other humanitarian
supplies, repair the country's oil infrastructure, and pay Gulf War
reparations to Kuwait and U.N. administrative and operational costs.

``Our hope is to be able to use the time between now and the end of this
phase to get an agreement on a resolution that deals with a range of issues,
not just an extension of the phase,'' acting U.S. Ambassador James
Cunningham said after Monday's meeting with British, French, Russian and
Chinese envoys.

But China's deputy ambassador Shen Guofang told reporters there may not be
enough time between now and June 3, the deadline for another six-month
extension of the existing oil-for-food program.

Shen said the list is highly technical and includes many restrictions. He
and Russia's U.N. Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, said they needed time to study
it. French diplomats called the British proposal a step in the right
direction, but also stressed the text needed careful study.

Under Security Council resolutions, sanctions imposed after Iraq's invasion
of Kuwait can be lifted only after U.N. weapons inspectors declare that
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have been eliminated. Baghdad has barred
U.N. inspectors from returning to the country for nearly 2 1/2 years.



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