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News, 19-25/8/01 (2)

News, 19-25/8/01 (2):


*  U.S., Ally Part Ways on Iraqi Oil
*  Iraq could increase oil output to ten million barrels a day
*  Bula [Irish oil company] wait for ratification of Iraq contract
*  U.S. Devises Iraqi Oil Proposal
*  Opec leakage rises in July to 720,000 bpd
*  Britain lifts block on Iraqi oil price
*  Price turmoil 'may hit Iraq Aug. loadings'


*  US leads race to arm developing world [and how. $7.7bn as opposed to
scary China¹s $400m. Scary Russia isn¹t even in the running]
*  Bush tested as he seeks to balance policy on Israel and Iraq [a very dull
article which I only include because of the dearth of general discussion
pieces this week]


*  Iraq: 1 Person Hurt in Allied Strike


*  Sanctions fire Iraqi World Cup bid
*  Bahrain 2, Iraq 0 in Soccer
*  WHO to Meet Iraqi Officials on Uranium Health Study
*  ICRC [Red Cross] in Iraq: Key facts and activities


*  Brazil to Resume Relations with Iraq


by Colum Lynch
The Washington Post, 22nd August

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 21 -- The United States declined this week to back a
British proposal to tighten U.N. procedures for pricing Iraqi oil, citing
concern that the proposal might disrupt global oil markets, according to
U.N. diplomats and oil analysts.


The British proposal seeks to stop the back-door payments by reducing Iraq's
ability to sell oil below market value. It would require that Iraq and the
United Nations jointly set prices every 10 days rather than every 30 days,
hewing closely to world levels. It also would deprive the Iraqis of the
right to request reductions whenever the market price drops.

"We are trying to reduce the gap between the market price and the prices
being set [at the United Nations] for Iraqi crude," said a British official.
"The excess margin allows unscrupulous buyers to make excessive profits and
pay a cash surcharge to the Iraqi government."

U.S. officials are in favor of clamping down on Iraq's illicit revenue,
which they suspect is used to purchase prohibited weapons and luxury goods
for President Saddam Hussein's inner circle. But the United States, the
largest consumer of Iraqi oil, is concerned that the British proposal could
disrupt trade.

"We are certainly sympathetic to the intent of [the British proposal], but
we're just not sure yet whether it's the right thing to do," a senior U.S.
official said.


Some industry analysts warned that the British proposal might not provide
enough lead time for oil traders to charter tankers and identify buyers.
Most major producers price their oil every month, said Larry Goldstein,
president of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation.


"Iraq could boost production capacity to 10 million bpd as soon as it starts
to develop its new oilfields, which are on top of the 74 fields already in
operation," Rashid told Al Rafidain weekly.

Rashid said in early August that Iraq was looking to raise output to six
million bpd, a plan it says has been scuppered by the ongoing international
sanctions imposed on Baghdad for invading Kuwait in 1990

He added Iraq wants to increase reserves to 270 billion barrels and overtake
Saudi Arabia as the world's top reservoir by transforming potential reserves
into proven reserves.

He said the Iran-Iraq conflict in the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait
and UN sanctions in force since Iraq's 1990 invasion of the emirate had all
hampered Baghdad's efforts to develop oil reserves.

Iraq has signed contracts with a number of foreign oil companies, notably
from Russia and China, to develop oilfields, but the deals can not be
implemented until sanctions are lifted.

Under a UN exemption to the sanctions regime, Iraq exports crude to finance
imports of essential goods.

by Ella Shanahan
Irish Times, 22nd August

The chief executive of Bula Resources, Mr Tom Kelly, has told shareholders
the company is still waiting for ratification of an exploration and
development contract in Iraq.

In a statement issued yesterday to update shareholders Mr Kelly said he
would visit Iraq in the coming weeks to meet key officials and discuss the
application which was made in June.

He will also meet the new Director General of Exploration at the Iraqi Oil
Ministry in order "to get a hands-on understanding of the logistics and
staffing requirements which will need to be addressed when the agreement is
signed and the pace of operations moves into a higher gear".

The timing of the awards of contracts was now very much in the hands of
government departments and the political process, he said.

In the statement Mr Kelly also updated shareholders on the firm's activities
in Libya.

He said that Bula's manager in Libya had been deployed full-time in securing
its applications to the Libyan government.

Mr Kelly said the company was also trying to identify and secure a revenue
stream by purchasing producing assets in order to support it during the
period until the Iraqi and Libyan assets are "ratified and producing cash

He said Bula "has pursued 17 opportunities in nine countries over the past
six months".

He added: "We are actively working on enhancing the reputation of the
company in order to be accepted as the partner of choice by host governments
and joint venture partners in many of the areas we are targeting.

"In this regard, Albert Reynolds (the chairman) has met with strategic
industry leaders from the Middle East and West Africa as well as principals
in the area of corporate finance."

Mr Kelly said he believed it was the right strategy to continue to focus on
Iraq and Libya.

He added that the company's annual general meeting would be held on
September 10th, when a more detailed update would be given to shareholders.

The Associated Press, Wed 22 Aug 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) ‹ The State Department outlined a proposal Wednesday for
preventing Iraq from continuing to make profits off oil sales by forcing
buyers to pay surcharges outside the oil-for-food program.

Spokesman Philip Reeker said such payments are a violation of U.N. Security
Council resolutions and can be used by Iraq to develop its military

At present, Iraq is permitted to sell unlimited amounts of oil but the
revenues must be used solely for humanitarian purchases.

According to reports, Iraq earns money outside the system by setting
artificially low prices for buyers, then demanding secret payments to make
up the difference.

Iraq and the United Nations set prices on Iraqi crude every 30 days, taking
into account fluctuations in market prices. According to officials, Iraq has
been able to sell some oil below market prices, and obtain back door
payments from buyers in return.

Reeker said the United States is proposing that the 30-day price adjustment
period be reduced to 15 days. He said this would limit Iraq's ability to
garner revenues outside the system and give oil traders the lead time needed
for chartering tankers.

London, Reuters, 23rd August

Opec producers with output quotas leaked more oil to the market in July,
Opec's Vienna secretariat said. The 10 Opec producers with quotas, excluding
Iraq, pumped 24.94 million barrels per day, or 720,000 barrels per day in
excess of official limits of 24.2 million, the secretariat said in a report
based on selected secondary sources.

In June leakage over the limits for the 10 was 610,000 barrels per day and
in May 381,000 barrels per day, Opec had said previously. Opec implements a
lower limit of 23.2 million bpd in September.

Including Iraq, output was 26.99 million bpd in July compared to 25.81
million in June. Baghdad resumed UN-supervised sales in July after a month's
break. Opec said it had revised down its projection for world oil demand
growth this year by 100,000 bpd to 700,000 bpd and expected total demand of
76.4 million. It saw the call on Opec oil next year, assuming zero stock
change, at 27.1 million bpd.

Worldoil, 24th August

(AFP): Britain has temporarily lifted an objection, which prevented the UN
from setting an official price for Iraqi oil, allowing sales to resume under
normal conditions until the end of August.

But, a British diplomat said, it would agree to an official price for
September only if the price-setting interval were cut from 30 days to 15

Iraq has been without an official price since Tuesday, after Britain called
for more frequent price-setting so as to limit Iraq's ability to exploit
fluctuations in the world market.

UN officials said the lack of an official price had no immediate effect on
Iraqi oil exports under UN supervision, but traders could be put off if
uncertainty over the price persisted.

Iraq, which has been subject to sanctions since it invaded Kuwait in August
1990, is allowed to sell oil under United Nations supervision, and to use 72
percent of the revenue to import food and other necessities approved by the

At present, it sells about 2.0 million barrels a day, a volume large enough
to cause severe disruption to the world market if supplies were halted.

London, Reuters, 24th August

Up to four million barrels of Iraqi Kirkuk crude scheduled to load in the
last week of August may not be lifted amid uncertainties over the official
selling price (OSP), market sources said yesterday.

If the crude oil is not lifted, it would be the first confirmed case of a
missed loading since the United Kingdom began insisting that the United
Nations price Iraqi exports every 10 days instead of every month, as is
industry practice.

"We're hearing of some August liftings being cancelled because of a lack of
price for the third decade," said one trader of Iraqi crude. "The
uncertainty is killing the market." Both lifters and refiners say the
uncertainty ‹ coupled with much tighter prices ‹ has decimated the Kirkuk

As of Wednesday afternoon Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation (Somo) had
not proposed any new August 21-31 prices for their crude oil exports as they
voiced silent objection to the UK's move for 10-day pricing periods, sources

The very large crude carrier (VLCC) Astro Castor, originally scheduled to
lift two million barrels of Kirkuk from Ceyhan, Turkey, on August 27, was
refixed several weeks ago for a West African lifting, shipping sources said.

And the VLCC Olympic Breeze, originally slated to lift Iraqi barrels on
August 31, now appears unlikely to ship the cargo, they added.

Iraqi contract holders could still nominate other vessels to lift the crude,
but traders said this was unlikely due to refiners' reluctance to buy the
barrels with so much uncertainty over price.

"Refiners are not willing to step up and buy if they know the price will be
changed three times before they lift," said one trader. As of Wednesday
afternoon no new vessels had been named to replace the VLCCs, shipping
sources said.

Spot trading in Kirkuk has slowed to a near halt as buyers and sellers are
reluctant to step in without knowing whether or not the decade-by-decade
pricing mechanism will be maintained throughout next month.

NEW WORLD ORDER,3604,539912,00.html

by Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, 21st August

World arms sales to developing countries rose by 8% last year with the US
dominating the market, according to an American congressional report.

Total weapons sales to developing countries amounted to nearly $36.9bn
(£25.5bn) last year, with US companies accounting for about half ($18.6bn)
of the contracts, the study says.

Russia accounted for more than a fifth of the trade, with $7.7bn in sales
(nearly double its 1999 figure of $4bn).

The conventional arms transfers to developing nations study, published by
the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, says France
sold $4.1bn worth, Germany$1.1bn, Britain $600m, China $400m, and Italy

The author, Richard Grimmett, says that although the developing world
constitutes the largest market for arms, it still represents a growing

"Despite global changes since the cold war's end, the developing world
continues to be the primary focus of foreign arms sales activity by
conventional weapons suppliers."

Human rights and arms control groups will seize on the report as further
evidence that, despite Washington's criticism of weapons sales by other
countries, not least Russia, US corporations are more to blame for arming
the world than their rivals are.

The study, reported in the New York Times, points to a relatively small but
significant trade in Russian arms to Iran.

It says that between 1997 and 2000, Russia agreed to sell Iran $300m worth
of weapons. During that period Moscow actually delivered $800m worth.

"In late 2000, Russia served public notice that it again intended to pursue
major arms sales with Iran, despite objections from the United States," says
the report.

Russo-Iranian ties have been strengthened by the presence of common foes,
notably the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. But the Bush administration is
likely to exploit the findings because it is determined to press on with its
planned missile defence shield against perceived threats from so-called
rogue states, including Iran and Iraq.

"Iraq was once a major purchaser of advanced weaponry from Russia," the
report says.

Baghdad bought significant quantities of western arms too, including from
Britain, before the 1991 Gulf war.

The congressional report adds pointedly: "Russia would clearly pursue new
major weapons deals with Iraq if current UN sanctions on Iraq that ban Iraqi
arms purchases are lifted."

The report also warns of China's role in the world arms market, saying that
Beijing could hurt efforts to stem sales of advanced missile systems in
unstable regions.

Chinese arms sales peaked in 1999 at $2.7bn, but dropped to $400m last year,
the congressional report states, with Pakistan a major buyer.

The big jump in US arms exports was partly due to the $6.4bn sale of 80 F16
fighters to the United Arab Emirates, a third of its export total.

The UAE, which also bought a significant number of arms from Britain, led
the developing world last year in signing arms deals worth $7.4bn, the
report states.

India, which is cultivating close weapons links with Russia, was the
second-largest arms buyer in the developing world with $4.8bn.

The US congress report is confined to arms sales to developing nations.
According to the latest data from the International Institute for Strategic
Studies, total arms exports amounted to more than $58bn in 1999, with the US
accounting for nearly half.

Britain sold 20%, while France sold 12.4% of weapons.

Whitehall figures put UK arms exports last year at £1.7bn. Australia bought
the most, followed by Saudi Arabia.

by Roula Khalaf and Richard Wolffe
Financial Times, 21st August

Since the United Nations security council failed to agree a resolution on US
proposals for "smart sanctions" against Iraq last month, Saddam Hussein has
sought to challenge the US on another front.

The Iraqi leader has stepped up efforts to shoot down US and British
warplanes patrolling the no-fly zones in the north and south of the country
- an act of defiance that has left the Bush administration, which has yet to
complete its review of Iraq policy, in an uncomfortable position.

The new stand-off comes after Iraq rebuilt the air defence and
communications infrastructure the US destroyed in a large February
offensive. Baghdad argues that the no-fly zones are illegal because they are
not stipulated by UN resolutions. The US has responded with air strikes on
Iraq's radar, military communications and missile sites, but not on the
scale seen in February.

"The administration is trying to hit Iraq but until now, they've done it
without going all out - but also without appearing not to be doing
anything," says a senior Arab diplomat.

For the Bush administration, Iraq is becoming a defining test of its
diplomatic powers. But designing a policy that deals more effectively with
Mr Saddam is a complex business, made even more difficult by the escalating
violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

The White House insists it is still pursuing three options: reform of the
more than decade-old UN sanctions to tighten restrictions on the regime and
facilitate the flow of civilian goods; defending the no-fly zones in Iraq;
and ultimately the pursuit of a change of regime in Baghdad.

For now, say officials, the focus remains on amending the sanctions and
defending the no-fly zones. Colin Powell, the secretary of state, is now
pressing again for Russian backing for "smart" sanctions before a
self-imposed deadline of the end of November.

But the setback suffered by the US at the security council represents an
embarrassment at a time when the White House is determined to craft a closer
relationship with Moscow over other strategic issues such as missile defence
and trade.

It has also left President George W. Bush vulnerable to attack from domestic
political opponents who accuse his administration of a broader failure of
foreign policy. The impasse with the Russians has led to a sharp degree of
frustration inside the State Department.

"It's important that Russia works to restore security council unity and not
succumb to Baghdad's attempts to manipulate the security council," said one
State Department official.

But even before the Russian threat of veto, smart sanctions were undermined
by the reluctance of Iraq's neighbours to go along with a policy that would
require stricter monitoring of their borders to stop the smuggling that
keeps the Iraqi regime afloat. Their hesitance became apparent after Baghdad
threatened to cut off trade.

Meanwhile, the US setback at the UN security council has given hopes to
hawks inside the Pentagon that more aggressive policies, including regime
change, might gain higher priority. It remains unclear, however, how this
could be pursued on the ground. Such a policy, moreover, faces stern
resistance from Washington's Arab allies.

"There are a number of key issues on which the administration hasn't reached
a consensus - the most clear-cut case is Iraq," says a US policy analyst.

"At some point, it's pretty clear that there will be another air strike and
hype about supporting opposition groups. But even hardliners understand you
cannot do this alone, that you have to have some Saudi and Turkish support."

A further complication comes from the reluctance of Arab rulers to back the
US administration on Iraq when its hesitant engagement in the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict is seen as blanket support for Israel.

Saudi sensitivity was underlined last week when Prince Sultan, the defence
minister, spoke against US air strikes in an interview with the newspaper
Alsharq al-Awsat a day before the US hit targets in Iraq's southern no-fly

Analysts, however, do not expect the administration to adopt a more active
policy on the Palestinian-Israeli front, at least not in the near future.
The White House has attempted to cultivate a handful of Arab friends such as
Saudi Arabia but is determined to avoid a clash with Israel that could
complicate relations with Congress, where the Jewish state has wide support.
The assumption appears to be that the effects of such a stand can be

As the US tries to convince Russia of the merits of smart sanctions and the
Pentagon examines other options, Mr Saddam's behaviour is likely to prove a
decisive factor in the direction of US policy. "If Saddam oversteps the
mark, the hawks will have a much stronger voice," says a US analyst.


The Associated Press, Sat 25 Aug 2001

BAGHDAD, Iraq: A U.S.-British airstrike on a radar station in southern Iraq
on Saturday has wounded one person, the official Iraqi News agency reported.

U.S. and British officials confirmed the attack in Wasit province, 116 miles
south of Baghdad, but made no mention of injuries.

``The U.S. British warplanes targeted our civil and service installations
... resulting in the injury of one civilian,'' an unidentified Iraqi
military spokesman told the agency.

Iraqi surface-to-air missiles and ``courageous ground resistance'' returned
fire on the planes, forcing them to turn back ``in shame,'' the spokesman

The U.S. Central Command released a statement saying that allied aircraft
launched the missile attack at 4:30 a.m. EDT ``in response to recent Iraqi
hostile threats against coalition aircraft monitoring the southern no-fly

Damage assessment was ongoing, the U.S. statement said.

``Coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure and
go to painstaking lengths to avoid injuries to civilians and damage to
civilian facilities,'' it added.

Since December 1998, there have been more than 1,010 incidents of Iraqi
surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft fire against coalition aircraft.

A British Ministry of Defense official said on condition of anonymity that
``this was a successful mission and there were no collateral implications.
All personnel returned safely.''



CNN, August 23

BAGHDAD, Iraq: Iraq is gearing up for a World Cup qualifier against one of
its former enemies on the battlefield.

It will be the first time Iraq has played Iran in Baghdad since the
eight-year war between the two countries which ended in 1988.

But Iraqi players say the sanctions imposed on Baghdad since the Gulf War in
the early 1990s is hardening their will to win against the odds.

For years, sanctions have prevented Iraqis from air travel forcing the team
to drive 10 hours just to board a plane.

Coach Adnan Hamad told CNN Iraq has plenty of young talent, but cannot
develop it due to lack of resources, as local teams have no money to buy the
right equipment or keep playing fields in good condition.

Iraq's top side, the Al-Zawra club, sometimes share the practice pitch with
three other teams, he said.

But the situation in Iraq has not always been quite so desperate.

In 1986 the national team qualified for the World Cup in Mexico.

Players used to be showered with luxuries such as cars for winning
international matches but now they are only paid $35 a month.

Leith Hussein has evaded Iraqi sanctions by playing for a Lebanese club. But
he says he still suffers from widespread prejudice due to his nationality.

At one Arab country's airport he was held for 24 hours while his Lebanese
team-mates went through customs without delay.

The Associated Press, Thu 23 Aug 2001

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) ‹ Bahrain beat Iraq 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier on
Thursday night on second-half goals by Talal Yosuf and Ghazi Al-Kawari.

Bahrain (1-0-1) moved into the Group A lead with four points, followed by
Iraq (1-1), Saudi Arabia (0-0-1), Iran (0-0) and Thailand (0-1). Saudi
Arabia is at Iran on Friday.

The top team qualifies for next year's World Cup, and the second-place team
advances to playoffs for another berth.

by Stephanie Nebehay
Yahoo, 23rd August

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organisation said on Thursday it would
meet Iraqi experts next week to firm up planned research into cancers that
Baghdad blames on Allied use of depleted uranium in the 1991 Gulf War.

The talks, being held in Baghdad from August 27-31, follow a formal
invitation received from the Iraqi government, the United Nations health
agency said in a statement.

WHO and Iraqi officials met last April at the agency's headquarters in
Geneva, where they hammered out a basic framework for intensified technical
and scientific cooperation.

The mission will kick off WHO's first comprehensive attempt to assess the
state of public health a full decade after a US-led alliance bombed Iraq
after the nation invaded Kuwait.

``The purpose of the mission is to complete work on detailed proposals for
studies on non communicable diseases and congenital malformations and draw
up a schedule for implementation of the research,'' WHO said. Diseases to be
tracked were mainly cancers and kidney disease.

``The studies' aim will be to investigate claimed increases in these
diseases in Iraq and look into their potential link to environmental and
other risk factors,'' it added.

Baghdad has insisted for years that there was a link between depleted
uranium (DU)--a toxic, radioactive element on tips of armour-piercing
weapons used by US and British forces during the conflict--and a growing
incidence of leukaemia and other cancers in Iraq.

Baghdad's Health Ministry says cancer cases increased from 6,555 in 1989 to
10,931 in 1997, especially in areas bombed by US-led forces during the war.

But WHO and NATO say there is no evidence that DU munitions cause cancer,
despite media reports suggesting a number of NATO peacekeepers in the
Balkans had fallen ill or died after exposure.

WHO and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said last March, after
collecting extensive soil and water samples in Kosovo, that DU used by NATO
posed ``no significant risks.''


``We will not just focus on depleted uranium, it is one of many
environmental risk factors,'' Dr Michael Repacholi, WHO's occupational and
environmental health coordinator, told Reuters.

``Iraq had industrial plants burn, which spreads chemicals and heavy metal
dust which can get into the water supply and also be breathed in. We have to
assess the exposure to these things too.''

A primary WHO goal will be to provide Iraqi officials with equipment,
fellowships and training so that they can set up cancer registries and carry
out analysis, Repacholi said.

WHO's eight-member team will be led by Dr Abdelaziz Saleh, the deputy head
of its regional office in Cairo.

Arabic News, 24th August

The ICRC has been continuously present in Iraq since 1981. Its operation was
initially mainly concerned with the protection of Prisoners of War from the
Iran- Iraq conflict ( 1981 to 1988) and from 1991 Gulf War. Almost 100,000
prisoners of War from the Iran, Iraq conflict and 70,000 from the 1991 Gulf
War returned to their families under the auspices of the ICRC. Today, the
ICRC still continues to follow the numerous cases of persons unaccounted for
as a result of the two international armed conflict.

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, the ICRC started emergency assistance
programs for the civilian population in Iraq, mainly consisting of the
distribution of clean drinking water in large urban centers and major repair
works on water treatment facilities.

As the humanitarian situation of the civilian population in Iraq continued
to deteriorate due to the economic sanctions imposed by the UN Security
Council, the ICRC has continuously stepped up its humanitarian assistance
programs. After the introduction of the oil-forÐfood program in 1996, which
allows Iraqi government to use its oil revenues to purchase humanitarian
supplies abroad under UN supervision, the ICRC gradually withdrew from
material assistance programs and concentrated its activities in area which
are not covered by the oil-forÐfood program.

The main problem identified was the gradual break down of public
infrastructure, such as hospital buildings, water and sewage treatment
plants, etc, due to a lack of investment and maintenance. Over recent years
the ICRC has carried out hundreds of emergency repair and rehabilitation
projects in hospitals, health care centers, water treatment plans and sewage
evacuation systems in order to keep these structures functional.

Due to the lack of maintenance and the absence of new investments, the state
of Iraq's drinking water supply systems and sewage evacuation network has
constantly deteriorated since 1991.

In many parts of the country they have broken down completely. Since 1996 it
has been possible for the Iraqi government to import spare parts for the
water and sanitation sector under the oil-forÐfood program. The program,
however, does not provide funds for maintenance and rehabilitation works on
existing installations or for the construction of new structures.

Currently, the major part of the ICRC's operation in the water and
sanitation sectors consists in emergency projects all over the country in
cooperation with the local authorities, ICRC engineers are involved in the
design and the planning of the projects. The works on the sites are carried
out by local Iraqi contractors under the supervision of the ICRC and the
local authorities. Imported spare parts are provided by the Iraqi government
under the oil forÐfood program.

Moreover, the ICRC became involved in the prosthetics service for amputees
in Iraq in 1994 at a request from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society and the
Ministry of Health. As Iraq was unable to import orthopedic components
because of the economic embargo imposed on the country in 1991, the ICRC set
up a local component production, mainly for feet and knee joints and
provided necessary raw material. Expatriate prosthetic specialists provided
training and expert advice to the staff of the Iraqi orthopedic centers, The
ICRC activities led to a gradual increase in the production of prostheses,
which had previously almost come to a standstill.

Since the beginning of the ICRC's physical rehabilitation program in Iraq,
more than 13,000 amputees have been fitted with prostheses in the six
orthopedic centers, which are assisted by the program. The ICRC continues to
provide technical and material support as well as training for the Iraq
staff working in the centers. Over the past year, where necessary, the
buildings and equipment of the orthopedic centers have been maintained. Also
indoor and outdoor walking training areas have been constructed.

Currently, the ICRC is involved with its local partners in the development
of national treatment guidelines for amputees and in the establishment of a
quality control system for lower limb prostheses. Upgrading the level of
training of staff in the fields of prosthetics/ orthotics and physiotherapy
remains a high priority for the ICRC and seminars, meetings on various
subjects are organized on a regular basis by ICRC experts with the
co-operation of the ministers of Health and Higher Education in Iraq.


by Bill Rodgers
VOA News, 25th August

Rio de Janeiro: Brazil is resuming relations with Iraq, which were
downgraded during the Gulf War. The Brazilian government wants to promote
closer commercial ties with Baghdad.

In a Foreign Ministry communiqué issued late Friday, the Brazilian
government announced it is re-activating its embassy in Baghdad.

Brazil first established diplomatic relations with Iraq in 1967, but then
downgraded them during the 1991 Gulf War, when Brazil supported the U.N.
Security Council sanctions imposed against Iraq.

In Friday's communique, the Foreign Ministry said with the resumption of
limited Iraqi oil sales, trade between Brazil and Iraq has resumed. The
statement said more Brazilian companies are now expressing interest in
selling goods to Iraq, which has led Brazilian President Fernando Henrique
Cardoso to decide to establish limited diplomatic ties with Baghdad.

However, the statement said Brazil will continue to adhere to the Security
Council resolutions on Iraq, and awaits the normalization of relations
between Baghdad and the international community.
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