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News, 10-16/6/01

News, 10-16/6/01

I¹m sending a separate supplement on Kurdish affairs which I strongly
recommend as more interesting than anything below. Though it makes
disagreeable reading for those of us who are opposed to the No Fly Zones
which, of course, most sections of Kurdish opinion support vigorously.


*  Smart Diplomacy Yields a Sensible Plan for Iraq [Praise for the Œsmart
sanctions¹ policy. It says that the old Œoil for food¹ policy Œblocked
imports that the population needed¹. I thought it was the US and British
government which were doing this. The article also says that the British
want the Saudis and Kuwaitis to compensate Turkey, Syria and Jordan for loss
of smuggling revenue ...]
*  New UN Plan Lets Foreigners Render Services in Iraq [account of proposed
changes in the British Œsmart sanctions¹ proposal]


*  Turkish truckers run race for right to haul diesel from Iraq
*  A demonstration in support of the Intifada on Syria - Iraq border
*  Saudi Arabia seizes Iraqi pipeline on its territory
*  Iraq oil still flowing to Syria despite tough talk
*  Jordan's opposition to impose smart sanctions on Iraq
*  Iraqi-Egyptian trade reaching $2.5bn


*  Iraq on the eve of a new confrontation: Saddam
*  U.N. chief recommends extra cash for Iraq's oil industry
*  UN: No Progress on Recovery of Kuwaiti Property


*  [South African] Mercy flight to Iraq 'not against UN policy' [meaning
that they have obtained UN approval for the flight. Their opposition to the
policy is pretty clearcut]
*  'Iraq Cell' set up at Export Promotion Bureau [in Pakistan]
*  Iraqi children to be treated in Malaysia
*  300 leave [from Malaysia] on peace mission to Baghdad


*  State Department launches audit of Iraqi rebels [ŒAnd as the bureaucrats
drag their feet, the INC's accounts are in dire shape. The money allotted
for 2000, some $4 million, has been spent. Chalabi said the INC has not been
able to publish its newspaper. Other INC officials say the group cannot
afford to pay its telephone bills and a bailiff in London has been
dispatched to collect back rent money for the organization's offices there.¹
What couldn¹t we do with $4m!]
*  U.S. to Give Iraqi Opposition $6 Million More


*  Iraqi novel [guess which one!] basis for TV series
*  Some 8967 Iraqis died in May because of the sanctions
*  Andy Kershaw to present radio shows from Iraq [this is presumably from
Iraqi, or, if you prefer, Southern, Kurdistan]
 * A story from inside [account of an Iraqi dissident¹s mistreatment in Iraq
and in Australia]
*  US warplanes strike Iraqi targets


*  Did Iraq Conduct a Clandestine Nuclear Test? [apparently not, according
to Hans Blix, despite the best efforts of the Sunday Times and BBC to prove
the contrary]


*  Sir David Spedding [Obituary for man who was head of MI6 aka SIS at the
time of the arms to Iraq scandal. He boasts that by selling arms to Saddam
Hussein we gained the intelligence information necessary to being able to
destroy them. A win-win situation if ever there was one]
 * U.S. v. multilateralism [Defence of US refusal to submit to international
law: ŒThe strictures imposed by Kyoto would lop as much as US $500-billion
off of the national GDP in 2010. Land mines protect 37,000 U.S. soldiers in
South Korea [? ­ PB]. The Test Ban Treaty would tie U.S. hands without
keeping adequate tabs on rogue states. And the International Criminal Court
would subject G.I. Joe to the jurisprudential whimsy of human rights


by David Ignatius
International Herald Tribune, June 11, 2001

PARIS: President George W. Bush heads to Europe this week carrying some
heavy baggage, especially on missile defense and global warming. And he will
undoubtedly be chided by the Europeans for the administration's supposed
arrogance and unilateralism on these issues.

But there is one foreign policy area where the Bush administration has been
making slow but steady progress with good cooperation from its European
allies. That is in recasting UN sanctions toward Iraq so that they punish
the thugs and torturers who run Saddam Hussein's regime rather than the
long-suffering Iraqi people. The new policy is known as "smart sanctions,"
to distinguish it from the tough-sounding but stupid sanctions policy that
preceded it, which had the perverse effect of helping Saddam and his cronies
but hurting ordinary Iraqis. The old sanctions regime was known as
"oil-for-food." In theory it channeled oil sales through UN accounts to
benefit the people. But it blocked imports that the population needed, and
spawned oil smuggling and under-the-table surcharges for official oil sales
that enriched Saddam's cronies and helped finance the regime's secret
police. How's that for getting it backward?

Some hard-liners in the Bush administration initially opposed changing this
policy, lest they appear to be easing pressure to topple Saddam. But
Secretary of State Colin Powell wisely opted for a new approach that would
seek to restrict military imports and smuggling revenues for the regime but
otherwise open up the economy.

He managed to win over the hard-liners by arguing that this "smart"
sanctions regime was a necessary condition for any successful effort to
overthrow the Iraqi dictator. The Bush administration worked closely with
France and Britain to hammer out the details of the new sanctions plan, and
they have been pushing hard these past few weeks to sell it to the other two
permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia and China. They are now
close to consensus, but one crucial task for Mr. Bush will be to get final
Russian agreement when he meets President Vladimir Putin.

A key element of the U.S.-British-French proposal is a "compensation fund"
to help Turkey, Syria and Jordan, which have benefited financially from
Saddam's smuggling.

The British are said to have asked the Saudis and Kuwaitis to put up the
money. The French propose instead that it come out of an escrow account of
unspent Iraqi oil revenues. That's a nice touch - using Iraqi money to bribe
the country's neighbors not to smuggle Iraqi oil.

All told, the compensation payments could total at least $500 million a
year, a U.S. official estimates.

Saddam, no dummy, quickly realized that smart sanctions were potentially
disastrous for him. Just how much they threaten his regime became clear last
week when Iraq announced that it would halt all oil sales in protest. That
move exposed the hypocrisy of Iraqi policy. They had complained before that
sanctions were destroying the economy, but now that the United States and
its allies were proposing to scrap the old system, Saddam wanted it back.

The Iraqis may have hoped that by withholding their roughly 2.5 million
barrels per day from the market they could trigger a panic. But last week's
OPEC meeting took the news in stride, with the Saudis announcing that they
would increase production to make up for whatever the Iraqis held back.

The smart sanctions threaten the regime's lifeline - the cash that comes
from smuggling and hidden surcharges. "This threat, more than any other,
probably worries the Iraqis most, as these funds give the government
spending flexibility and help it to sustain a patronage network that ensures
its survival," noted a report last week by the Petroleum Finance Co., a
Washington consulting group.

Saddam may have bigger problems ahead. He rushed last month to install his
younger son Qusay to a top position in the Ba'ath Party leadership. Qusay
already controls key intelligence and military units that safeguard the
regime. Some analysts, noting that Saddam appears to have weakened
physically in recent months, speculate that he may be rapidly grooming Qusay
as his successor.

To complete the transition from dumb to smart sanctions, the Bush
administration will have to finesse the corruption that surrounds Iraqi oil
sales. Powerful interests in Turkey, Syria and Jordan now benefit from
smuggling. And dozens of small, shadowy companies (including some based in
Russia) appear to have been buying Iraqi oil at a discount, and paying
hidden surcharges to Baghdad, before selling the oil onward.

"This is a minefield," notes the authoritative newsletter Middle East
Economic Survey. "Many of the small firms are owned by the political elites
in the countries concerned."

The Bush administration's success with smart sanctions offers a lesson. A
little diplomacy, the old-fashioned kind where you work carefully with
allies to build a coalition through the United Nations, can work wonders.

by Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters, 11th June) - The United States and Britain proposed
on Monday that foreign companies be allowed to provide services for civilian
projects in Iraq but not make investments in Baghdad's oil industry as
France wanted, according to a revised resolution on Iraqi sanctions.

But the new draft, which makes minor changes, is not different enough from
the previous one to please Iraq, whose officials said they would not deal
with it. Baghdad has shut off oil sales to protest the so-called ``smart

France and others are lobbying for foreign investment in Iraq's oil
industry, which countries like Ireland also support. But the United States
and Britain still oppose this.

Other provisions altered in the text, include alternatives for money Baghdad
has to pay for compensation to Gulf War victims. The draft also gives less
detail on how to monitor Iraq's borders to stop smuggling and calls for
consultations with Jordan, Syria and Turkey.

The new measure says that services, previously prohibited, would include
maintenance of equipment, such as water pumps or vehicles, by companies that
sold Iraq the items in question.

At issue are U.S.-British proposals that would ease bans on civilian
supplies going into Iraq. But the plan would continue to bar military
materiel outright and draw up a list of items that could have military uses
for council approval.

The controversial list, which Russia, France and China say is far too long,
is being discussed in Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday by technical experts
from these three nations and the United States and Britain.

All five nations are permanent security council members with veto power and
Iraq has urged Moscow, which has reservations about the entire resolution,
to use its negative vote to kill the measure.

The U.S.-British plan is a revision of the oil-for-food program, an
exception to the sanctions imposed in August 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait.
That program allows Iraq to sell oil and order food, medicine and other
goods under U.N. supervision.

The United States and Britain hope to complete negotiations by July 3, the
date set in a previous resolution that extended the U.N. oil-for-food
program for Iraq by a month.

The draft still calls for each of Iraq's neighbors including Syria, Turkey
and Jordan, to be allowed to purchase up to 150,000 barrels a day of Iraqi

The effort to stop trading outside of the oil-for-food program is now less
detailed and no longer speaks of border monitoring. Instead, it leaves
Secretary-General Kofi Annan to make recommendations as in the original
draft and stresses he has to consult with the neighboring states.

Annan, in both versions of the resolution, also has to draw up
recommendations on selecting companies and trading organizations to purchase
Iraqi oil. The purpose of this provision is to eliminate traders who are
paying Iraq an illegal surcharge outside of the U.N. system.

The new draft also signals the U.S.-British willingness to allow Tunisia and
Jordan to return Iraqi aircraft they have held since the Gulf War. This
provision is still in dispute but a previous one saying Tunisia and Jordan
should sell the planes has been deleted from the text.

On the compensation fund, the new resolution reflects a dispute over whether
Iraq should continue paying 25 percent of its oil revenues to compensate
Kuwait and other Gulf War victims.

France wants this reduced to 20 percent and the resolution also gives an
alternate rate of 30 percent. But diplomats said this is for negotiating
purposes and the final figure would be no higher than 25 percent.


CNN, June 10, 2001

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- More than 300 Turkish truckers ran a 2.5-kilometer
(1.5-mile) race to try to win the coveted prize of a government permit to
import sanctions-busting diesel from Iraq, reports said Sunday.

The first ten truckers to cross the finish line Saturday avoided the
days-long authorization process it sometimes takes and automatically
received a permit to haul cheap Iraqi diesel into Turkey, Radikal newspaper

Even with a permit, though, truckers still often must form long lines at the
Habur border crossing between Iraq and Turkey to deliver the diesel.

Although the diesel imports violate U.N. sanctions, officials have been
turning a blind eye to the trade to support Turkey's impoverished southeast
region. About 150 trucks are allowed to cross the border everyday.

Turkey says it has lost more than $30 billion in trade since sanctions were
imposed on Iraq in 1990 following its invasion of Kuwait. The trade also
helps the economy of the autonomous Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq.

The United States, however, is pressing to crack down on the trade which it
says is benefitting Saddam Hussein.

The truck drivers say they make about 550 million Turkish lira ($450) from a
single trip to Iraq. The diesel is purchased by Iraqi Kurds from Iraqi
refineries and sold to the Turkish truckers. The truckers then sell it to a
Turkish government-run depot.

Saturday's winner was Salih Ugur, who also won the local
government-organized race last year. Nine other truckers also won permits.

Last week, Iraq stopped pumping oil through its two U.N.-approved export
pipelines to protest a Security Council decision to extend by one month
instead of the usual six months the U.N. oil-for-food program. The diesel
trade to Turkey, however, has continued.

Arabic News, 11th June

The Iraqi national council ( parliament) is intending to organize a joint
demonstration with the parliaments of Syria, Jordan and Palestine on the
Iraqi- Syrian borders in support of the Palestinian Intifada.

Reports in Baghdad said that the Syrian parliament (People's Assembly) told
the Iraqi parliament about its consent to hold this demonstration which is
still under negotiations to define its date, while contacts have been
continued with the Jordanian and Palestinian parliamentarians to get their
consent to take in this demonstration.

Dawn, 12th June

UNITED NATIONS, Reuters, June 11: Saudi Arabia said on Monday it seized
ownership of an Iraqi crude oil pipeline that crosses its territory and has
been shut down since Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The move is certain to increase tensions between the two Gulf neighbours,
stirred up last week by Saudi allegations that Iraq has staged a series of
raids on Saudi border outposts in recent months. Saudi Arabia, in a letter
to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said it was taking over the pipeline
because Iraq had made threats against it and committed aggression, "thereby
causing serious damage to the Saudi people in terms of lives and property,
as well as to natural resources and the environment." It did not offer
specifics. Because of this, it said the pipeline - including pumping
stations, storage tanks, communications system, loading facilities and a
maritime terminal at the Red Sea port of Mu'jiz - "will revert in its
entirety to the government of Saudi Arabia." The seizure took effect last

The Iraq-Saudi pipeline cost at least $2.25 billion to build and had the
capacity to bring 1.6 million barrels per day to the Red Sea. It had been in
full operation less than a year, from September 1989 until Aug. 13, 1990,
alternately carrying Saudi and Iraqi crude to the Red Sea for export, when
it was shut down.

Saudi Arabia disconnected the pipeline and blocked both ends after the UN
Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait. Iraq
last September asserted Saudi Arabia owed it unspecified damages for
shutting down the pipeline. But in the letter to Annan, Saudi Arabia said
Iraq could deduct any damages from the money due Riyadh "for the damage
resulting from the Iraqi aggression." Sorting out the damage claims from the
1991 Gulf War is the work of the Geneva-based UN Compensation Commission.

Saudi Arabia last week accused Iraq of staging 11 raids on Saudi border
outposts in March, April and May and warned the Security Council more such
attacks could have "grave consequences." But Iraq's UN ambassador, Mohammed
Aldouri, wrote Annan in a letter circulated on Monday that Saudi Arabia had
fabricated the charges to build support for efforts by Britain and the
United States to overhaul the UN sanctions on Iraq.


Reuters, 12th June

Iraq is maintaining illicit oil sales to Syria to secure vital hard currency
despite Baghdad's vow to cut off most exports in its latest showdown with
the United Nations over sanctions, industry sources said yesterday.

The sources said Syria was still exporting oil at a higher rate, evidence
that it continues to receive extra supplies from Iraq via a recently
refurbished pipeline. "There are no signs that Syria is selling less oil to
its customers. They have not notified customers of any real cuts," said one
industry source.

"We have not received a telex from Syria saying there is less oil available.
They are still getting oil from Iraq," said another. Diplomats also said
that major producer Iraq was still delivering crude to neighbour Syria.

The industry sources said Iraq currently was probably delivering about
100,000-150,000 barrels per day to Syria. Iraqi supplies to Syrian
refineries through a pipeline reopened at the end of last year have freed up
large amounts of Syria's home-produced oil for export.

One source said that Syria had informed a customer of a 10 per cent
reduction in supply, but then changed its mind and offered a full cargo for
a later date. "There are two extra cargoes of Syrian Heavy on the spot
market. I don't think they are reducing exports," said the source. "We have
not been informed of any reductions in Syrian oil."

Syria and neighbours Turkey, Jordan and Syria brings Baghdad about $1.5
billion. Neither Baghdad nor Damascus has admitted to the trade, but
Washington has called on Syria to bring the sales under the terms of the
United Nations oil-for-food programme with Iraq.

Iraq last week cut off oil sales under the UN exchange to protest a
U.S.-British proposal to revamp Gulf War sanctions. The plan would ease
restrictions on imports of civilian goods while tightening controls on
weapons-related imports and oil smuggling to Iraq's neighbours.

Iraq said on Friday that it was now only supplying crude to Jordan. Turkey
had been getting about 100,000 barrels daily trucked across the border but
Kurdish rebels that control that trade said it dried up last week. Iraq has
used its oil exports as a political weapon against the United Nations,
hoping to rattle the oil market and chip away at stringent sanctions imposed
after its troops invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Although most previous Iraqi outages have been short lived, analysts said
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appeared ready for a longer battle with the
U.N. this time around. There is no sign that other big producers are
prepared to step in and supply Syria with crude to make up for any Iraqi

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said last week that his country - the
world's biggest oil exporter - would not step in to supply Syria with oil to
make up for any loss in crude deliveries to that country.

Reports that Riyadh was preparing to reopen a pipeline with Syria were
without substance, regional sources familiar with Saudi foreign policy said.

Arabic News, 13th June

The Jordanian Parliament has stressed categorical rejection to what is
called smart sanctions due to be imposed on Iraq for further isolation from
its Arab surrounding.

In a statement released on Monday, the parliament said that these sanctions
are greatly damaging for Iraq and its neighbors and undermine the national
economic interests of the region's states, including Jordan.

The parliament called on the Jordanian government to refuse these sanctions
and to continue working for lifting the embargo imposed on Iraq and to end
the sufferings of the Iraqis and maintain co-operation relations with Iraq.

The Jordanian parliament renewed its assertion to lift the sanctions imposed
on Iraq together with all forms of sanctions impose on it in being targeted
to undermine Iraq's own existence and very role.


BBC, 16th June

Egyptian officials in Baghdad say that trade between Egypt and Iraq is set
to reach more than $2.5bn by the end of the year.

Egypt's charge d'affaires in Baghdad , Mahmud Sherif Rayhan, said that a
number of joint projects were due to be carried out by Egyprian companies,
especially in the construction sector.

Egypt - with which Iraq enjoys a free-trade agreement - is currently
Baghdad's third-largest trade partner.


*  Iraq on the eve of a new confrontation: Saddam
Times of India, 11th June

BAGHDAD: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has said his country should prepare
for "a new confrontation", in a fresh attack by Baghdad on the plans for a
revision of the sanctions regime imposed on Iraq by the UN.

"We are on the eve of a new confrontation. That is why it is our duty to be
prepared for it," Saddam said during a cabinet meeting to discuss the "smart
sanctions" on Saturday.

Britain, with US backing, has put forward a draft that would abolish the
embargo on civilian trade with Iraq, while tightening a weapons ban and
controls on smuggling outside a UN Oil-for-Food deal.

"The main goal of the enemy is to break Iraq's national will and colonise us
with new methods and under new names," Hussein said, explaining "this could
be through controlling Iraqi funds and by preventing Iraq from developing

Earlier on Saturday, an Iraqi foreign ministry official said Iraq no longer
considers itself bound by the Oil-for-Food programme after the UN renewed
the humanitarian programme for only one month as opposed to its customary
six-month renewal.

"The UN has violated the letter of this agreement in prolonging it by one
month instead of six," said Naji al-Hadithi, state minister at Iraq's
foreign ministry.

"When a party violates its commitments this means that the agreement has
been broken and Iraq will act in consequence," Hadithi said.

"Iraq believes itself equally exempt of all engagements within the body of
this agreement have been revoked" by the UN, he said. (AFP)


UNITED NATIONS (Associated Press, 14th June) _ Secretary-General Kofi Annan
urged the Security Council to approve arrangements to transfer 600 million
euros (dlrs 510 million) to Iraq every six months to help repair its
decrepit oil industry.

In a letter sent to the council Thursday, Annan said the dlrs 1.2 billion
Iraq is currently allowed each year to purchase spare parts and equipment
for its oil industry isn't enough to prevent a drop in production and must
be supplemented with extra cash to cover the cost of installing and
maintaining new equipment.

Iraq's Ministry of Oil advised the United Nations that unless spare parts
and equipment were put into operation, crude oil production would fall
dramatically by December, U.N. experts said in a report.


Last December, in response to an Iraqi request, the Security Council
approved a proposal to give Baghdad access to cash it could spend locally on
upkeep of its oil industry. At the request of the council, a team of U.N.
experts visited Iraq from March 18 to April 1 and agreed with oil ministry
officials on arrangements for the transfer of the money.

Annan recommended that the council approve the arrangements.


UNITED NATIONS (Reuters, 14th June) - The United Nations reported on
Thursday there was still no progress with Iraq in recovering Kuwaiti
military gear, museum pieces and historical documents missing more than a
decade after Baghdad's troops invaded the emirate.

While Baghdad has promised to keep searching, it has yet to either return or
account for much missing property, including Kuwait's national archives,
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.

Recovery efforts will succeed only when there is ``a substantial change of
attitude on the part of the Iraqi leadership,'' he said.

But since his last report on the sensitive issue, six months ago, ``there
has been no such change in attitude in Baghdad,'' Annan said.

He said particular attention was paid over the past six months to the
missing national archives since Kuwait was ''deprived of access to its own
history, a situation painful for any nation.''

Iraq occupied Kuwait for seven months, until it was expelled by a U.S.-led
coalition during the 1991 Gulf War. The United Nations has been trying ever
since to account for looted property as well as more than 600 missing

The search for missing Kuwaitis has also faltered, with Iraq boycotting a
committee set up to help resolve the issue.

Diplomats see the missing persons issue, in particular, as a major stumbling
block for Baghdad in its campaign for the lifting of sanctions imposed by
the Security Council after the August 1990 invasion.

Annan said his high-level coordinator on both issues, Yuli Vorontsov of
Russia, had remained active during the period, trying to line up
international support behind a resolution of the problem.

He flatly rejected Iraqi claims that Vorontsov, who served as Moscow's
ambassador to the United Nations from 1990 to 1994, was biased.

``It cannot be overemphasized that Ambassador Vorontsov is well known for
his integrity, objectivity and even-handed efforts,'' Annan said. ``I am
confident that the coordinator will continue to exercise this approach in
the future.''


by Peter Fabricius
Independent, June 10 2001

Six tons of humanitarian aid from South Africa were due to arrive in
Baghdad, capital of Iraq on Monday night, but the South African government
rejects suggestions that the mission defies United Nations economic
sanctions against Saddam Hussein's state.

The mercy flight of mainly baby food and medicine for Iraqis reportedly
starving because of UN sanctions, left South Africa on Saturday and was
travelling via Cairo and Jordan's capital Amman, Anil Suklal, acting deputy
director general of Foreign Affairs for Asia and the Middle East, said on
Sunday night.

A delegation of about 100 civic leaders, business executives, officials and
journalists was accompanying the approximately R1-million worth of aid. It
was mostly collected from the South African community by the Durban-based
Iraqi Action Committee.

Suklal said Public Works Minister Jeff Radebe and Deputy Foreign Minister
Aziz Pahad were to have joined the flight in Amman for the last leg to

Radebe was in the delegation because Eskom and other parastatals are
participating in the visit to look for investment opportunities.

A cross-section of private businesses was also represented in the
delegation, mainly seeking business deals in infrastructure. Suklal said
Eskom was sponsoring the cost of the flight, estimated at around R500 000.

Suklal denied reports in South Africa that the flight was being conducted in
defiance of UN sanctions against Iraq. The aid was being delivered through
the oil-for-food programme which had been approved by the UN.

South Africa had cleared the mission through the UN Security Council and had
consulted all interested parties including Saudia Arabia and Kuwait, both of
which are enemies of the Hussein government.

South Africa supported the Non-Aligned Movement's opposition to the
sanctions, which it felt were harming the Iraqi people without resolving any
political problems. But South Africa also observed UN rules as a matter of
principle, he said.

*  'Iraq Cell' set up at Export Promotion Bureau
Dawn, 13 June 2001, 20 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1422

KARACHI, June 12: Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) has established "Iraq Cell"
at its office to extend all possible help to exporters intending to exports
goods to Iraq.
According to EPB here on Tuesday, exporters can get information and
assistance relating to exports of goods to Iraq from this cell headed by the
concerned director general. The cell will also help exporters when they are
confronted with any problem relating to exports. The EPB has given special
focus towards enhancement of bilateral trade with Iraq.-APP

Times of India, 13th June

KUALA LUMPUR: Iraqi children suffering from various diseases and needing
medical attention will be brought to Malaysia soon for treatment, Iraqi
ambassador to Malaysia Adna Malik Al-Ghazali has said.

He said that the Iraqi health system could not cater to the medical needs of
its people and there was also lack of facilities following the UN sanctions
imposed on Iraq.

"We are now discussing about having the patients sent to Malaysia in order
to be treated," he told reporters after receiving a documentary on Iraqi
children by the Golden Kids Club (GKC).

The 15 minute documentary which highlights the plight of the Iraqi children
was documented and recorded by seven presenters of GKC, an NGO during their
mission to Iraq from March 12-19 this year.

Adnan said that efforts to bring the patients here would be carried out in
collaboration with various NGOs groups and charitable bodies which would
raise funds to meet the required expenses for the children to be brought to

"Once it has been finalised, the first group will be brought in between one
week to two months and how many, it depends on the sponsors," he said.

Adnan said the initiative came about following the visit by a delegation led
by Prime Minister's wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, and Health Minister
Chua Jui Meng to Iraq recently.

Adnan added the Iraqi government was deeply touched by efforts by Malaysia
and its people to help the Iraqi children, especially those who need medical
treatment. (PTI)

The Star (Malaysia), 14th June

SEPANG: Three hundred Malaysians, representing various organisations, left
for Baghdad yesterday on a peace and friendship mission.

Led by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, the three-day mission
symbolises Malaysia's sympathy towards Iraqi civilians affected by trade
sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

The mission, which also included several doctors and members of the local
and foreign media, took along essential supplies and medical aid items.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad was among those who were at
the KL International Airport's Bunga Raya Complex to send off the mission.

Speaking to reporters before flying off, Syed Hamid said the mission's
objective was to create international awareness on the sufferings faced by
the Iraqi civilian population.

"We hope this mission will open the way for others, and for young Malaysians
to extend a helping hand to the innocent people of Iraq.

"The civilian population are the ones who are suffering the most because of
the sanctions," he added.


by Eli J. Lake

WASHINGTON, June 10 (UPI) -- The State Department's secretive Inspector
General's office has launched an audit of an Iraqi rebel coalition viewed by
the Pentagon and many at the Whitehouse as a key plank in the U.S. strategy
to oust Saddam Hussein from power, United Press International has learned.

The audit of the Iraqi National Congress is likely to further delay the
disbursement of some $22 million in U.S. aid recommended by Congress and
promised last year by the Clinton administration to the cash-strapped INC.
The State Department has already placed a hold on any funds designated for
use inside Iraq, despite agreements dating back to January, when the White
House ordered the treasury to grant the INC a license for just such

Last month, the State Department's Inspector General ordered a review of the
INC's finances, following an audit performed by the British accounting firm
Gordon Berman for a $4 million grant disbursed earlier this year. The London
accountants had not worked before on State Department accounts and as such
were unfamiliar with the technical specifications required by the
department, according to State Department officials.

The State Department is required to review all audits by accountants who
have not worked with the department in the past. It was this review,
according to State Department officials, that triggered the current audit by
the Inspector General. Auditors from the IG's office arrived last week at
the group's London offices, according to INC officials.

"The Inspector General is doing this because they wanted to be certain of
the financial controls," one senior State Department official told UPI.
"Also the audit did not cover the full $4 million grant, it only covered
part of it."

In a telephone interview from London, one of the INC's leaders, Ahmad
Chalabi, told UPI his organization welcomed the audit. He said the review
would cover, "stock taking, inventory, expenditure, travel vouchers and who
approves what.

"The contract gives them the right to do an audit," Chalabi added. "They
approved a British accounting firm and then they came back and said these
people were not familiar. They have no serious concerns."

Chalabi has been dogged by allegations that he embezzled millions from the
Petra Bank of Jordan when he was its president. However, no State Department
official, congressional staffer, or government official interviewed for this
article questioned Chalabi or his organization's integrity or grant

But State Department officials did say they expected the audit to slow down
the already delayed aid program for the INC. "It will take some time to
implement the recommendations from the audit," one senior State Department
official said in an interview.

This means that plans to build a satellite transmitter in Northern Iraq;
send teams of INC operatives into the country to collect political and
military information on Saddam's regime; and a program to distribute
humanitarian aid to Iraqis are essentially in policy limbo for now.

"They have not approved any operations inside Iraq," Chalabi said. He said
State Department bureaucrats have told him the "principals must decide on
this," referring to the group of senior Bush administration officials that
vet policy before going to the president. This group includes Secretary of
State Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "The bureaucrats are saying this above our pay

The obstacle to receiving the substantive aid the INC has pushed for since
1998 is a significant setback for the group. The INC was touted in last
year's GOP election platform as a major plank of policy on Iraq. When Bush
was elected, INC officials and their allies in Washington had hoped to fast
track the implementation of the Iraq Liberation Act, which would require the
Pentagon to disburse nearly $100 million in military aid and training. But
in the nearly six months since President Bush has taken office, the debate
on Iraq policy as it concerns the rebels has shifted to humanitarian,
non-lethal activities.

And as the bureaucrats drag their feet, the INC's accounts are in dire
shape. The money allotted for 2000, some $4 million, has been spent. Chalabi
said the INC has not been able to publish its newspaper. Other INC officials
say the group cannot afford to pay its telephone bills and a bailiff in
London has been dispatched to collect back rent money for the organization's
offices there.

A senior State Department official told UPI that it is willing to disburse
emergency or temporary funds to the INC while the audit is taking place. "We
are prepared to continue to advance them money to cover their infrastructure
expenses, telephones, rents, salaries -- this is while the audit is going
forward," a senior State Department official said. "Then we have told them
once the audit is complete and any recommendations for new physical controls
implemented, we want to move rapidly to new programming as well."

The State Department is willing to front the group between $300,000 and
$400,000 a month to stay afloat, according to this official. "We are talking
about a few weeks or a few months of temporary funding," this official said.
But so far, the INC is not biting.

By way of comparison, U.S. diplomats at the United Nations have released
holds on $1.2 billion worth of contracts for Saddam Hussein's government in
Baghdad in the last month alone. The holds were lifted in anticipation of
the U.S. push to loosen U.N. sanctions against Iraq. On June 1, the U.N.
Security Council passed a resolution to extend for thirty days the current
mechanism for controlling Iraqi oil profits, known as the U.N. oil-for-food

Powell has insisted that a regime change policy is distinct from the U.S.
sanctions push, it is clear that sanctions have become a higher priority at
the State Department than funding Chalabi's rebels. One State Department
official told UPI, "The sanctions are the priority now."

A British U.N. official put it this way in an interview. "The only way you
are going to get a change of attitude from Iraq is if you have a solid
international approach. As far as some members of the United Nations are
concerned, talk about regime change is interfering with Iraq's sovereignty.
Talking about regime change just doesn't go here. It ain't going to happen."


WASHINGTON (Reuters, 14th June) - The United States has decided to give the
opposition Iraqi National Congress (INC) $6 million toward operating costs,
even while auditors look at earlier grants, the State Department said on

The $6 million, part of the $18 million allocated to the opposition group in
this year's U.S. budget, will maintain current INC programs, which include
media and public diplomacy activities and gathering information on war
crimes, State Department spokesman Philip Reeker told a daily briefing.



*  Iraqi novel basis for TV series
by Waiel Faleh

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP, 11th June) -- Iraqi producers are planning a television
version of a novel some think was written by President Saddam Hussein.

"Zabibah and the King," which tells the tale of a king who falls in love
with a poor, married woman, was published anonymously late last year, but
its pointed political references have led to speculation Saddam wrote it.

"It will be a series of 20 parts produced by the Iraqi satellite channel and
the production process is on the way," Mizahim al-Baiati, who would
supervise the television script, was quoted as telling the Iraqi newspaper

Al-Baiati predicted the series would be a success in the Arab world because
of the "powerful meanings and thoughts indicated in the novel."

It was not clear when the first episode would air. Al-Baiati could not be
reached for comment Monday.

The release of the novel was preceded by unusual publicity, with daily
advertisements on Iraqi television, radio and in newspapers. Since then, it
has been selling out of book stores here.

In the novel, the king's close relation to the common people, as symbolized
by his love for Zabibah, makes other kings jealous and they plot against

"They brought shame to the Arab uniform they wear," reads a passage in the
novel some interpret as criticism of the leaders of neighboring states.

Zabibah is killed and raped on January 17 -- the anniversary of the start of
the 1991 Gulf War that forced Iraq to reverse its invasion of Kuwait. No
ordinary writer could have made such a reference to that date, Iraqi readers

In later passages, a "people's council" takes over the kingdom -- because no
single person could match the abilities of the beloved king.

Saddam is the most popular guess of Iraqis about the identity of mysterious
writer. But some point to the possibility Saddam's son Odai was the author
because of its unusually frank sexual passages. Odai is known as a

U.S. intelligence officials reportedly believe that if Saddam didn't write
"Zabibah and the King," he at least closely supervised its production. The
CIA is believed to have studied the novel for insight into Saddam's
political thinking.

Arabic News, 13th June


On the impact of the sanctions on the Iraqi people, a statistics released by
the Iraqi ministry of health said that 8967 Iraqis of both sexes died in May
as a result of being effected by various diseases as a result of the
shortage of food, medicines and other basic needs.

Ananova, 15th June

Andy Kershaw is to present two roots radio shows from Iraq next month.

The shows will study the way Saddam Hussein has used traditional music in

Kershaw will also talk to political exiles in the shows, which are to be
broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on July 14 and July 21.

He will also explore the classical and Sufi traditions, gypsy music, Kurdish
folk and modern Iraqi pop music as specials on his new World Routes series. 

Sydney Morning Herald, 16th June

I fled Iraq because I was afraid for my life. In Iraq ... I criticised the
government. I was put in jail there and subsequently escaped. I spent 70
days in Syria before boarding a flight to Indonesia, where I got a boat to
Australia. I was taken into detention in Darwin and transferred to Woomera.

In November last year I received a letter from one of my sons who still
lives in Iraq, talking of the suffering my family had gone through since I
left. His letter said two of my sons, the two oldest, had been jailed
because I fled and applied for residency in Australia. I showed the letter
to an ACM [Australasian Correctional Management] officer and started to cry.
I was punished for this as I was put in an isolated room for eight days.

After my application was refused I became very upset. I went on a hunger
strike with 16 other people and I stopped eating for 11 days. I was put in
the hospital inside the centre. I had handcuffs placed on my wrists and my
hands and feet were handcuffed to my bed ... I also had things, I am not
sure what they were, stuck up my nose. My nose started to bleed and I think
it bled from about 3 one afternoon until 1am the next morning. No-one took
any notice or care that this was happening.

I would estimate that out of all the ACM officers at Woomera, 20 per cent of
them are good. The rest would constantly make me feel like I was in a war or
in jail. In Sydney the ACM officers made fun of me and would motion with
their hands telling me that I was crazy and that I was going to a hospital
for crazy people ... When they took me to Bankstown Hospital I refused to
go. However they took me by force.

I have been at the Villawood Detention Centre for about four months. I am
treated much better here than I was at Woomera. I have been allowed to see
visitors and an ex-Woomera detainee came to visit me on one occasion.

In mid-February I called my sister in Iraq. She told me not to call again
because of what has happened to my family since I fled the country. She said
they were scared of being punished by the Iraqi Government. I have not
called my children.

(A statement from an Iraqi woman, an activist who left children behind in
Iraq. She has been in detention, in Woomera then at Villawood in Sydney, for
almost a year. Her refugee application was refused on the grounds that she
came through Syria and could have sought refugee status there. She claims
asylum seekers in Syria have been sent back to Iraq. Some of her children
are in hiding.)

Times of India, 16th June

WASHINGTON: US warplanes struck air defence sites in northern and southern
Iraq on Thursday, retaliating for Iraqi anti-aircraft fire directed against
coalition aircraft enforcing no-fly zones, the US military said.

The US European command said coalition aircraft operating out of Turkey's
Incirlik air base were targeted by Iraqi missile guidance radar systems
north of Mosul and were fired on by anti-aircraft guns.

"Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi attacks by dropping ordnance on
elements of the Iraqi integrated air defence system," it said.

In the south, US F/A-18 fighters from the aircraft carrier USS Constellation
struck a radar site near Al Kut in southern Iraq with precision-guided
weapons, the US Central command in Tampa, Florida said.

It said the air strike was in response to anti-aircraft fire against US
aircraft monitoring the southern no-fly zone, spokesman Lieutenant Colonel
Mark Samisch said. (AFP)


by Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters, 11th June) - The chief U.N. arms inspector and
experts at a London think tank have concluded there was no evidence Iraq had
carried out a successful nuclear test in 1989, as alleged in news reports
earlier this year.

Hans Blix, the executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and
Inspection Commission, said he reported to the U.N. Security Council last
week ``the information is totally wrong'' that Iraq conducted a nuclear test
beneath Lake Rezazza, southwest of Baghdad on Sept. 19, 1989, before the
Gulf War.

He told reporters his department and the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) had evidence in its files, from overhead flights and previous ground
inspections ``there had been no nuclear tests'' nor a tunnel under the lake.

Purported evidence of a test, from two defecting former scientists in Iraq
and an interpretation of satellite photographs of the test area, was
reported in London's Sunday Times newspaper in February and received fairly
wide coverage.

Terry Wallace, a professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, says
that while it is far easier to prove something did happen than to prove it
did not there was no reason to believe the story is ``anything but a hoax.''

An examination of global earthquake catalogs, produced by the International
Seismic Center and U.S. Geological Survey, revealed no significant seismic
activity in Iraq the day the test was alleged to have taken place, Wallace

Such an explosion he said, in an article for the London-based think tank,
the Verification, Training and Information Center, would have been easily
detectable by international or by regional monitoring in Iran, Israel or
Jordan, which keep records of earthquakes.

None of them reported any seismic events of the magnitude necessary for a
nuclear test in the region around Lake Rezazza, Wallace said.

U.N. arms inspectors have not been permitted to track down Baghdad's weapons
of mass destruction since mid-December 1998, when they were withdrawn
shortly before the United States and Britain launched a four-day bombing
campaign prompted by Iraq's failure to cooperate with the arms teams.

Blix's agency has now signed a contract with a private, satellite firm and
is restarting overhead flights this month.

Earlier this year, Western intelligence agencies alleged that Iraq had
reconstituted parts of its banned arms programs. The German Federal
Intelligence Agency (BND) in February told selected reporters Iraq could
produce a nuclear device in three years and fire a missile as far as Europe
by 2005.

U.S. and British officials alleged in January that Iraq had rebuilt three
factories capable of producing chemical and biological weapons.

The IAEA, meanwhile, carried out its annual inspection of the Iraq's
Tuwaitha nuclear power center in January and reported that low-grade nuclear
material held there had not been moved since its last visit.


by Nigel West
Independent, 15 June 2001

David Rolland Spedding, diplomat and intelligence officer: born 7 March
1943; Third Secretary, Foreign Office 1967-70, Second Secretary 1970-74,
First Secretary 1974-83; OBE 1980; CVO 1984; Counsellor, Amman 1983-86,
Counsellor, Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1987-94; Chief, Secret
Intelligence Service 1994-99; KCMG 1996; married 1970 Gillian Kinnear (two
sons); died 13 June 2001.

David Spedding, former chief of Britain's most secret organisation, the
Secret Intelligence Service (commonly known as MI6), which has long "punched
over its weight", was one of the last of Britain's Cold Warriors.

Spedding was fluent in Spanish, French and Arabic, and his first appointment
after he had attended the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies at Shemlan, in
the Lebanon, was to the SIS station in Beirut in 1970. The station had long
been a crossroads of international espionage whence, eight years earlier,
Kim Philby had defected, and George Blake had been recalled to face arrest
and imprisonment. Newly married and aged just 27, Spedding worked for the
legendary Norman Darbyshire, the tremendously experienced station commander
who had spent much of his career in Iran.

Having cut his teeth in Beirut, Spedding was posted to Chile where he was a
witness to the turbulent events that led to the overthrow of President
Salvador Allende in 1973 and the installation of General Augusto Pinochet's
regime. After graduating in History from Hertford College, Oxford, Spedding
had worked briefly at the British Embassy in Santiago. When he was brought
back to Century House in 1974 the station there was closed down on budgetary
grounds, a false economy that led to very limited reporting from Latin
America in the months preceding the Argentine threat to invade the Falklands
in 1977, and General Leopoldo Galtieri's actual invasion five years later.

Thereafter Spedding concentrated on the Middle East and was posted to Abu
Dhabi and then Jordan, both sensitive places in a troubled region. In 1984
he was credited with effective liaison with the local security apparatus in
Amman that prevented a terrorist plot by Abu Nidal to assassinate the Queen
during a state visit. According to one of his predecessors as SIS station
commander in Jordan, Sir Alan Urwick, Spedding identified and ensured the
arrest of two PFLP suspects and thereby enabled the tour to be completed
without incident. He returned to London in 1987 to be SIS's Controller,
Middle East, and then deputy Chief to Sir Colin McColl, whom he was to
succeed in 1994, becoming only the second head of the Service (code-name
"C") to be officially identified on his appointment.

It was during this latter period that SIS became embroiled in what was to be
labelled the "arms-to-Iraq" affair, during which various sources reporting
on the continuing conflict between Baghdad and Tehran were also engaged in
defence sales. Although exports of weapons to both countries were the
subject of a United Nations embargo, both SIS and MI5 had recruited some
well-placed agents, among them Paul Henderson, whose engineering business
had achieved official permission to install machine tools at various sites
of interest in Iraq.

Thanks to Henderson and others like him, SIS was impressively well-informed
about Saddam Hussein's clandestine procurement organisation, and had
developed a comprehensive picture of his industrial infrastructure. The
dangers of collecting this intelligence in Iraq were illustrated by the
execution in March 1990 of the Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft. However,
SIS's overall picture of the country's military-industrial complex was
sufficiently accurate and detailed to ensure its almost total destruction
during the coalition's air-raids during the Gulf War.

The blowback for SIS was an attempt by Customs & Excise to prosecute
Henderson for breaches of the rules governing export licenses for equipment
that, while not strictly military hardware, had a dual use, but the case
collapsed when he was allowed to reveal that he, like others working for
Matrix Churchill, had been reporting to SIS, and had been encouraged to
develop their business links with Baghdad. McColl was heavily criticised for
not having intervened to protect Henderson, but it was Spedding who was
obliged to take the flak upon the publication in February 1996 of Sir
Richard Scott's report condemning SIS failures.

Based in Henley-on-Thames, and always fond of a round of golf at
Huntercombe, Spedding was unassertive, and this may be part of the
explanation for the embarrassment caused in 1998, during his final year in
office, when SIS dismissed a probationary officer, Richard Tomlinson, who
attempted to bring proceedings for wrongful dismissal against the Service.
For the first time, "C" was obliged to ask the Foreign Secretary, Malcolm
Rifkind, to issue a Public Interest Immunity Certificate against one of his
men in the vain hope of silencing his complaints.

The consequences of this hopelessly bureaucratic approach were to prove
disastrous for SIS, which subsequently endured the publication on the
internet of dozens of its key operations personnel, and the humiliation of
Tomlinson's poisonous memoirs being published first in Moscow, and then
later in London.
June 16, 2001

National Post (Canada), 16th June

During the past week, George W. Bush, the United States President, has heard
diplomatic catcalls in each of the EU's 11 official languages. The
flashpoints were Mr. Bush's plan to build a national missile shield and his
rejection of the Kyoto global warming protocol. Yet the disagreements are
less substantial than they appear. Not one EU member has ratified Kyoto and
several European officials have discreetly expressed interest in a missile
shield. The arguments between Mr. Bush and Europe were primarily proxies for
a larger fight about how world affairs should be conducted. In the EU,
multilateralism has attained the status of unshakable truth. Mr. Bush's
threat to this dogma is the real source of friction.

Multilateralism's revered status in Europe stems from the beginning of what
Mr. Bush's father dubbed a "New World Order." With the eclipse of Soviet
Communism, there seemed little for people to fight about. The Berlin Wall
fell. Democracy swept through Latin America, East Asia and Africa. Chinese
peasants were drinking Pepsi. Arab accountants were using Windows. With the
exception of Iraq, Yugoslavia and other backwaters, the world seemed a
smaller, kinder place.

The sense that nations were moving toward a single democratic, globalized
ideal animated a flurry of international initiatives. Before the Nineties,
multilateral bodies had narrow goals. The United Nations was generally
concerned with preventing war between nations. NATO focused on defending
Western Europe from Russian tanks. And no one was protesting the World Trade
Organization meetings because the WTO didn't exist. All this changed when
globalization replaced the Cold War as the dominant foreign affairs
paradigm. Peacekeeping, peacemaking and "nation-building" in areas besieged
by war -- Bosnia, Indonesia, Kosovo and Congo -- are now constantly on the
agenda. The belief has spread that murderous historical rivalries will
dissolve in the warm, fuzzy spirit of globalization. The Northern Ireland
Good Friday agreement was signed in 1998. The first Oslo agreement was
signed in 1993. Until recently, peaceniks mused Israel might someday join
the Arab League. Utopian multilateralism also produced utopian leaders such
as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair with their sunny, inclusive Third Way
politics. Canadians were consistent supporters of multilateralism long
before its current fashion. Jean Chrétien has never seen an international
agreement he didn't want to sign.

Despite this boosterism, there arose a growing gulf between Europe and the
United States. Aside from Kyoto, the last five years brought us the 1998
Rome Treaty on the International Criminal Court, the 1997 Land Mine Treaty
and the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. In each case, European nations
piled in enthusiastically, while Americans kept their distance. In October,
1999, the U.S. Senate rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which has
been ratified by every other member of NATO. In 1997, the Senate voted 95-0
against any global warming resolution that, like Kyoto, would bind
industrialized countries but not developing nations. Last December,
president Clinton signed the International Criminal Court as an 11th hour
gesture of multilateralist goodwill, but said it should not be sent to the
Senate "until our fundamental concerns are satisfied." As for the Land Mine
Treaty, Mr. Clinton didn't even sign it. Mr. Bush is not solely responsible
for U.S. unilateralism. The Senate has been singing the tune for years, and
some ventures were too much even for Mr. Clinton.

European critics say the United States has become drunk on its own
superpower now that it doesn't have to share the bottle with Soviet Russia.
But Washington has simply been defending U.S. national interests. The
strictures imposed by Kyoto would lop as much as US$500-billion off of the
national GDP in 2010. Land mines protect 37,000 U.S. soldiers in South
Korea. The Test Ban Treaty would tie U.S. hands without keeping adequate
tabs on rogue states. And the International Criminal Court would subject
G.I. Joe to the jurisprudential whimsy of human rights lawyers.

Why do Europe and the United States see things so differently? Two main
reasons. First: With the creation of the EU, the whole structure of Europe
became multilateral. And on a broad range of issues -- such as capital
punishment, on which Mr. Bush has taken a hammering during his European trip
-- there is little substantive disagreement among the continents bien
pensants. European leaders seem to have internalized the view that every
disagreement can be settled through rational discussion. When the leaders of
France and Germany met Mr. Bush on Wednesday, they argued the threat from
rogue nations should be settled with "diplomacy" instead of anti-ballistic
missiles. To Americans, the belief that plots of Saddam Hussein and Kim
Jong-il can be defused with talk and good intentions is laughable. It is the
United States that gets its embassies blown up, and it does a lot more
mucking about in the world's dark corners than the French or Germans.

The second reason has to do with foreign policy. In Europe, creating a
multilateralist bulwark to the United States isn't just consistent with
foreign policy objectives, it is a foreign policy objective. The French have
taken a leading role in this regard. It was Hubert Védrine, the French
Foreign Minister, who coined the term hyperpuissance, and it is France that
has most explicitly sought to establish a second Western pole of global
power. "France's big project of the coming decades will be to transform
Europe into a new kind of superpower," wrote Christopher Caldwell in Policy
Review last year, "a collective one that has France at its intellectual and
moral center."

George W. Bush and Europe's leaders hold different views on issues such as
the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty and and the Kyoto protocol. But their
disagreements are underpinned by a larger battle about multilateralism. All
signs indicate this fight will be with us long after Kyoto and the ABM
Treaty fall off the agenda.

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