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French pushing for 'civilian investment'

A. An interesting quote from Foreign Office Minister Brian Wilson (in a
letter to Paul Keetch MP, dated 4th June 2001): 'There can be little doubt
that the resumption of normal economic activity would benefit the Iraqi
people, but this cannot happen while the Iraqi regime continues to defy UN
resolutions' (ie. as long as economic sanctions remain in place!)

B. First indications that some sort of provisions for foreign investment
(though we don't know what sort, or under what terms) may be incorporated
into the 'smart' sanctions package.

Friday June 8, 2:35 AM

Security Council determined to rewrite Iraqi sanctions by month's end

The Security Council is determined to complete reforms of its Iraqi
sanctions regime by the end of the month, council members said after
discussing alternative British and French proposals Thursday.

"It is possible that by middle of next week, a text will emerge based on the
two existing drafts and, hopefully, concrete negotiations on the text will
then start" council president, Anwarul Chowdhury of Bangladesh, told

He said it was the "general view" of the council "that all efforts should be
made to conclude the negotiations by the end of this month, in the
time-frame of the one-month rollover" of the oil-for-food programme agreed
on June 1.

Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, said experts
from the five permanent council members had held "three full sessions" since
work began Monday on discussing British proposals for sanctions reform.

The full council met Thursday to take stock of the experts' talks.

During the week, France submitted an alternative draft which would widen the
proposed reforms to permit "civilian investments in Iraq by foreign
companies, including into the Iraqi oil industry and production

Greenstock said foreign investment in the oil sector was "quite a
controversial area," but other forms of investment might be acceptable.

"The council, I know, is interested in the education, health and
agricultural sectors which are so important to fundamental living in Iraq,"
he said.

Greenstock said there were two main objectives to the proposed reforms.

The first was to provide "a much more effective flow of humanitarian and
other goods into Iraq," he said, adding that this was "the primary intention
of the council."

The second was to ensure "the proper maintenance of vigilance and control
over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," he said.

"We're not just talking about goods going into Iraq," Greenstock said.

"Members of the council are interested in a whole range of services, and
services includes investment," he said.

Greenstock added that there were "some differences of approach" between the
15 members of the council, but said they were "getting into a very frank
discussion of those, which is the only way to do the job in front of us in
the next three or four weeks."

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