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here's the text of the report which went out thursday night on the 10 o clock news. richard http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1901000/1901079.st m 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 sanctions. 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 destruction. 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. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk