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[casi] the bbc report

here's the text of the report which went out thursday night on the 10 o
clock news.

Ragi Omar (BBC Correspondent)

Traders say they can get produce from anywhere

The last time I was in Baghdad, al-Shorjah Souq market was the place that
Iraqis came to buy basic products like rice, flour and beans.
But in less than 18 months it has been transformed.

There are now whole sections of this sprawling open-air market full of
luxury items of every description.
What is more, these goods are not here because of sanctions-busting, it is
all legal trade - the result of Iraq rebuilding economic and political ties
with Arab nations.
Iraq's re-emergence from the cold has been one of the unexpected
developments from the Arab Summit in Beirut.
Baghdad's promise not to re-invade Kuwait was greeted warmly by Saudi
Arabia, and Arab leaders said they would not consider military action
against any other Arab state.
Isolated and demonised
Iraq went to the summit aware that it could be the next target in America's
so-called war on terrorism.
But just a brief walk around the busy markets in Baghdad shows how much
things have changed.
Two years ago, Iraq was isolated, demonised and crippled by international

Not any more. Luxury items are everywhere.
One market trader, who runs a stall selling pasta, told me that he and his
colleagues can buy products from all over the Arab world and beyond.
He said prices were cheaper than ever and things that were once beyond most
people's reach were now affordable.
Iraqi television's report on the Arab Summit was triumphant. It showed the
unprecedented sight of Iraqi Vice-President Ezzat Ibrahim warmly embracing
Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and made much of Iraq's pledge to never
re-invade Kuwait.
Weapons feared
But mending fences with Arab neighbours is one thing - relations with
Washington and London is another.
The US and Britain are demanding the unconditional return of UN weapons
inspectors to Iraq.
Washington says their absence has allowed Baghdad to develop weapons of mass

But Nasra al-Sadoon, editor of the Iraq Daily newspaper, says that Baghdad
still distrusts the weapons inspectors.
"If they want spies in Iraq, Iraq can refuse to admit spies," he said.
"If they want co-operation, Iraq was willing and is still willing, to solve
the problems with the United Nations."
Ordinary Iraqis know what the consequences of not allowing the inspectors
back could be.
In 1998, Britain and America launched air strikes, accusing Iraq of
thwarting the search for weapons of mass destruction.
Despite Iraq's efforts to build support within the Arab world, it knows that
the US has indicated that, if necessary, it could act alone.

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