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[casi] News, 5-11/10/02 (3)

News, 5-11/10/02 (3)

UN [only] MATTERS [for a little while]

*  Annan leans toward new resolution on Iraq
*  CIA men inspected Iraq sites: ex-arms inspector
*  Inspection as invasion
*  U.N. [Security Council] Urged to Hold Open Iraq Meeting
*  Ground rules for Iraq inspections
*  Lawyers challenge legality of preventive war against Iraq

UK [only] MATTERS [for a little while]

*  Blair warned war to oust Saddam 'illegal'
*  English bishops oppose any unjust war on Iraq: Report

WORLD  [only] MATTERS [for a little while]

*  Germany still at odds with America
*  Thousands march in Italy against Iraq war
*  Malaysia Raps U.S. on Iraq, Lashes West at Asia Forum


*  Rebel Kurd lawmakers show unity ahead of Iraq attack
*  Turkey Considers Positive Messages Of Iraqi Kurdish Leaders
*  In Iraq, Kurds fear another betrayal


*  Former East German [football] coach set to join Iraq
*  Indonesia's Pertamina to develop Iraq's western desert oil field
*  Baghdad fair to go ahead despite war threat

UN [only] MATTERS [for a little while]

Daily Star, Lebanon, 5th October

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday that international arms
inspectors should not resume their search for Iraq's clandestine arsenals
and programs until the Security Council decides whether to adopt a new
resolution that could give them broad new powers.

The UN chief's remarks signaled support for Washington, which has been
trying to stall the inspectors' mission.

Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, who wants to send an advance team to
Baghdad in mid-October, said Thursday he hoped council members would make up
their minds quickly.

But the council is deeply divided over a US draft resolution, backed by
Britain, to toughen inspections and authorize military force if Iraq doesn't
comply. Russia, France and China, all veto-wielding council members, oppose
any authorization of force.

Indicating that inspectors would wait, Blix said if the council changed the
rules while inspectors were in Iraq, "it would be awkward."

Annan said Blix had "the right attitude."

"He has had his discussions, he has got his men ready, but as the council is
discussing further guidance, it would be appropriate for him to know that
further guidance before he resumes, and I hope that will be forthcoming
shortly," he said.

Mohammed al-Baradei, whose International Atomic Energy Agency is in charge
of nuclear inspections, also indicated inspectors would wait for a decision.

"We need to align our date with the deliberation of the council," Baradei

Blix told reporters after briefing the council Thursday that he is moving
ahead with plans to resume inspections after nearly four years, following an
agreement he reached with Iraq earlier this week on logistics.

"We have not purchased the air tickets yet, but we have plans," he said.
Blix said many issues had been solved, "but there are some minor matters and
some loose ends."

The United States leapt on Blix's reference to "loose ends," saying it
reinforced the need for a new resolution.

And Washington continued to scramble for evidence incriminating Saddam
Hussein's regime. On Friday, the Pentagon said the United States has
detected Iraqi efforts to conceal weapons of mass destruction in
anticipation of UN inspections.

Spokeswoman Victoria Clarke declined to provide details, saying the US
information had to remain secret.

"In terms of what is actually going on now you start getting into classified
information," she said. "It's for people with far higher pay grades to
decide if and when they put that sort of information out."

The Pentagon will brief reporters Monday on Iraq's "deception and denial"
tactics, she said - a briefing that will probably set the tone for what is
being touted as an important statement by US President George W. Bush on
Iraq late Monday night.

The United States says a new mandate for weapons inspectors is critical, but
Russia says it is not needed and would cause unnecessary delay to a
resumption of inspections.

France has proposed middle ground which would strengthen inspections but
give Iraq a chance to cooperate before any military action was authorized.

Blix and Baradei traveled to Washington on Friday for meetings with US
Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza

Blix said the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission which he
heads has the legal authority to return to Iraq under a series of
resolutions adopted since the end of the Gulf War in 1991.

Those loose ends, he said, included the key issue of whether Saddam's
network of presidential palaces would remain off-limits to surprise
inspections. Also unresolved were security arrangements for inspectors and
flights within Iraq to reach suspected weapons sites.

Asked if he would delay his arrival in Baghdad beyond Oct. 19, Blix said:
"If the council puts some new suggestions or directives to us, of course we
are in their hands."

Dawn, 7th October, 29 Rajab 1423

WASHINGTON, Oct 6: Outspoken former weapons' inspector Scott Ritter said US
and British intelligence agents took part in inspections of Iraqi leader
Saddam Hussein's palaces during the 1990s, Newsweekreported in its latest

Ritter, 40, a former intelligence officer in the US Marines, said CIA
agents, and members of Britain's intelligence service MI6, were employed
among the weapons inspectors for intelligence-gathering purposes the last
time Saddam's palaces were searched.

Several of the agents were gathering intelligence on where Saddam lived and
worked, and where probably he took shelter during air raids - aimed at
eliminating the Iraqi leader rather than his weapons, Ritter told Newsweekin
its editions due on newsstands on Monday.

"Embedded in the team was a British MI6 case officer, whose job was to
recruit a senior Iraqi official," Ritter told the newsweekly.

"We were trying to use the inspection team's access to achieve this

"Also embedded in the team were CIA officers, whose job was to do a
structural-intelligence analysis of Saddam Hussein's bunkers, and to
pinpoint the residences and officers of every senior Iraqi government

Ritter, whose credibility was damaged after he accepted 400,000 dollars from
an Iraqi American businessman to fund a documentary critical of US policy,
was once dubbed a "cowboy" by UN staff and diplomats in Baghdad for his
intrusive inspection procedures.

He said the attempt at recruiting Iraqi officials failed.

Ritter resigned from the United Nations in August 1998, citing a lack of UN
and US support for his tough disarmament methods which rattled the Iraqis.

More recently, however, he has become increasingly critical of US policies
towards Iraq.

Ritter claims that UN inspectors - who left the country four years ago - had
found no evidence that Iraq was seeking to re-acquire capabilities in
weapons of mass destruction. AFP,3604,806585,00.html

by George Monbiot
The Guardian, 8th October

There is little that those of us who oppose the coming war with Iraq can now
do to prevent it. George Bush has staked his credibility on the project; he
has mid-term elections to consider, oil supplies to secure and a flagging
war on terror to revive. Our voices are as little heeded in the White House
as the singing of the birds.

Our role is now, perhaps, confined to the modest but necessary task of
demonstrating the withdrawal of our consent, while seeking to undermine the
moral confidence which could turn the attack on Iraq into a war against all
those states perceived to offend US strategic interests. No task is more
urgent than to expose the two astonishing lies contained in George Bush's
radio address on Saturday, namely that "the United States does not desire
military conflict, because we know the awful nature of war" and "we hope
that Iraq complies with the world's demands". Mr Bush appears to have done
everything in his power to prevent Iraq from complying with the world's
demands, while ensuring that military conflict becomes inevitable.

On July 4 this year, Kofi Annan, the secretary-general of the United
Nations, began negotiating with Iraq over the return of UN weapons
inspectors. Iraq had resisted UN inspections for three and a half years, but
now it felt the screw turning, and appeared to be on the point of
capitulation. On July 5, the Pentagon leaked its war plan to the New York
Times. The US, a Pentagon official revealed, was preparing "a major air
campaign and land invasion" to "topple President Saddam Hussein". The talks
immediately collapsed.

Ten days ago, they were about to resume. Hans Blix, the head of the UN
inspections body, was due to meet Iraqi officials in Vienna, to discuss the
practicalities of re-entering the country. The US airforce launched bombing
raids on Basra, in southern Iraq, destroying a radar system. As the Russian
government pointed out, the attack could scarcely have been better designed
to scupper the talks. But this time the Iraqis, mindful of the consequences
of excluding the inspectors, kept talking. Last Tuesday, they agreed to let
the UN back in. The State Department immediately announced, with more
candour than elegance, that it would "go into thwart mode".

It wasn't bluffing. The following day, it leaked the draft resolution on
inspections it was placing before the UN Security Council. This resembles
nothing so much as a plan for unopposed invasion. The decisions about which
sites should be "inspected" would no longer be made by the UN alone, but
also by "any permanent member of the security council", such as the United
States. The people inspecting these sites could also be chosen by the US,
and they would enjoy "unrestricted rights of entry into and out of Iraq" and
"the right to free, unrestricted and immediate movement" within Iraq,
"including unrestricted access to presidential sites". They would be
permitted to establish "regional bases and operating bases throughout Iraq",
where they would be "accompanied... by sufficient US security forces to
protect them". They would have the right to declare exclusion zones, no-fly
zones and "ground and air transit corridors". They would be allowed to fly
and land as many planes, helicopters and surveillance drones in Iraq as they
want, to set up "encrypted communication" networks and to seize "any
equipment" they choose to lay hands on.

The resolution, in other words, could not have failed to remind Iraq of the
alleged infiltration of the UN team in 1996. Both the Iraqi government and
the former inspector Scott Ritter maintain that the weapons inspectors were
joined that year by CIA covert operations specialists, who used the UN's
special access to collect information and encourage the republican guard to
launch a coup. On Thursday, Britain and the United States instructed the
weapons inspectors not to enter Iraq until the new resolution has been

As Milan Rai's new book War Plan Iraq documents, the US has been undermining
disarmament for years. The UN's principal means of persuasion was paragraph
22 of the security council's resolution 687, which promised that economic
sanctions would be lifted once Iraq ceased to possess weapons of mass
destruction. But in April 1994, Warren Christopher, the US secretary of
state, unilaterally withdrew this promise, removing Iraq's main incentive to
comply. Three years later his successor, Madeleine Albright, insisted that
sanctions would not be lifted while Saddam remained in power.

The US government maintains that Saddam Hussein expelled the UN inspectors
from Iraq in 1998, but this is not true. On October 30 1998, the US rejected
a new UN proposal by again refusing to lift the oil embargo if Iraq
disarmed. On the following day, the Iraqi government announced that it would
cease to cooperate with the inspectors. In fact it permitted them to
continue working, and over the next six weeks they completed around 300

On December 14, Richard Butler, the head of the inspection team, published a
curiously contradictory report. The body of the report recorded that over
the past month "the majority of the inspections of facilities and sites
under the ongoing monitoring system were carried out with Iraq's
cooperation", but his well-publicised conclusion was that "no progress" had
been made. Russia and China accused Butler of bias. On December 15, the US
ambassador to the UN warned him that his team should leave Iraq for its own
safety. Butler pulled out, and on the following day the US started bombing

>From that point on, Saddam Hussein refused to allow UN inspectors to return.
At the end of last year, Jose Bustani, the head of the Organisation for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, proposed a means of resolving the crisis.
His organisation had not been involved in the messy business of 1998, so he
offered to send in his own inspectors, and complete the job the UN had
almost finished. The US responded by demanding Bustani's dismissal. The
other member states agreed to depose him only after the United States
threatened to destroy the organisation if he stayed. Now Hans Blix, the head
of the new UN inspectorate, may also be feeling the heat. On Tuesday he
insisted that he would take his orders only from the security council. On
Thursday, after an hour-long meeting with US officials, he agreed with the
Americans that there should be no inspections until a new resolution had
been approved.

For the past eight years the US, with Britain's help, appears to have been
seeking to prevent a resolution of the crisis in Iraq. It is almost as if
Iraq has been kept on ice, as a necessary enemy to be warmed up whenever the
occasion demands. Today, as the economy slides and Bin Laden's latest
mocking message suggests that the war on terrorism has so far failed, an
enemy which can be located and bombed is more necessary than ever. A just
war can be pursued only when all peaceful means have been exhausted. In this
case, the peaceful means have been averted.

by Edith M. Lederer
Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 10th October

UNITED NATIONS- Some 130 nations pressing for a peaceful solution in Iraq
asked the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to hold an emergency open
meeting before it votes on a new resolution that could authorize military
action against Saddam Hussein's government.

The move by the Nonaligned Movement, whose members are mainly from
developing countries, would put the U.S. and British demands for military
authorization under a microscope by shifting what have been closed-door
talks into a public format.

Council members supported the request for an open meeting and council
president Martin Belinga-Eboutou told members he would set a date after

Diplomats said the open meeting will not be held Friday, as France wanted,
but will likely take place sometime next week. It will definitely be held
before the council votes on a new resolution, diplomats said, but it wasn't
clear whether it would take place before or after a new resolution is
formally introduced to the council.

The five veto-holding members remain divided on key issues and have been
meeting privately to thrash out concepts, but diplomats report little
progress and no new meeting has been scheduled.

The United States and Britain have circulated a draft that would toughen
inspections and authorize the use of force if Iraq doesn't comply with
inspectors. France, Russia and China oppose a green light to attack before
Iraq has a chance to cooperate, and are supporting a rival French proposal.

"We think it's a good idea to have an open meeting at the right time," U.S.
deputy ambassador James Cunningham said after Thursday's council meeting. He
refused to say when that might be.

U.S. spokesman Richard Grenell said the United States always assumed there
would be an open debate at the appropriate time.

"I think it will take place next week, open for all members," said Russia's
deputy U.N. Ambassador Gennady Gatilov.

"It's a very good thing, because the Security Council, while taking the
decisions, should represent the opinions and positions of all members of
this organization," he said.

South Africa, the current Nonaligned Movement chairman, sent a letter to the
Security Council president saying an emergency meeting is "imperative" so
council members can hear the views of the wider United Nations membership
before it adopts a resolution.

The resolution, South Africa's U.N. Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo wrote,
includes issues "that are of importance to ... the future role of the United
Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security."

At an open Security Council meeting, any of the 191 members of the United
Nations can speak. Many are likely to use the opportunity to address the
issues surrounding Iraq's acceptance of the return of U.N. inspectors after
nearly four years - and the majority are expected to back the French and
Russian position.

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin reiterated Thursday that the
council should first send a message to Saddam to let inspectors do their job
"without conditions or restrictions."

"We do not think that it is necessary to resort to the use of force at this
first resolution," he said.

by Liz Neisloss
CNN, 9th October

UNITED NATIONS: U.N. weapons inspectors have sent a letter to Iraq spelling
out the agreements reached with Iraq in their recent meetings in Vienna,
including "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access" to sites.

The letter, addressed to Gen. Amir Al-Saadi who represented Iraq in Vienna,
notes that the eight presidential sites are still covered by a special
agreement -- a "memorandum of understanding," or MOU.

The MOU -- which the United States wants to see negated -- sets out the
special handling for presidential sites, including advance notice.

According to the U.N. letter, the agreements reached in Vienna include:

‹ The U.N. Monitoring, Inspections and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC) and
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have the right to determine
the number of inspectors required for any site.

‹ Iraq will be informed of the designation of sites not previously declared
by Iraq or previously inspected, only when inspectors arrive at the sites.

‹ Iraq will ensure that no prohibited material, equipment, records or other
relevant items be destroyed except in the presence of inspectors.

‹ Iraq will "guarantee the safety of air operations in its air space outside
the no-fly zones."

‹ Iraq will "take all steps within its control to ensure the safety" of any
operations inside the no-fly zones.

‹ UNMOVIC may wish to resume the use of U-2 or Mirage overflights, using
past arrangements.

‹ UNMOVIC and IAEA may conduct interviews with any person in Iraq whom they
believe may have relevant information. Iraq will "facilitate" the
interviews, but the weapons inspectors will chose the "mode and location"
for the interviews.

‹ The United Nations will use its former offices in Baghdad -- the former
"Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Center" -- but can also set up regional
inspection offices in places such as Basra and Mosul.

‹ Iraq will provide security for all inspectors. Iraq will provide "secure
and suitable accommodations" from a list designated by the Iraqis.

‹ Iraq will provide free escorts to facilitate access to sites to be
inspected and a 24- hour hotline to be staffed by an English-speaking person
seven days a week. This is for help with personnel and transportation needed
and any assistance in moving construction material and excavation equipment.

‹ Weapons inspectors can use any means for voice or data transmission
including satellite and/or inland networks with or without encryption
capability. This would be facilitated by Iraq and "there will be no
interference by Iraq" with communications.

‹ Iraq will provide cost-free protection of all surveillance equipment,
construct antennae for remote transmission of data and, if requested, Iraq
will allocate frequencies for communications equipment.

‹ Weapons inspectors where possible will split any samples taken so that
Iraq may receive a portion. "Where appropriate," inspectors will send
samples to more than one laboratory for analysis.

The letter also requests a response from Iraq to confirm if the letter is a
"correct reflection" of the Vienna talks held on September 30 and October 1.

"Mr. [UNMOVIC chief Hans] Blix intended to put in writing the understandings
reach in Vienna and provide them to the council," said U.N. spokesman Fred
Eckhard. He said some countries had also requested the letter.

In a recent briefing of the U.N. Security Council, Blix and IAEA head
Mohamed El-Baradei identified various "loose ends" in their discussions with
the Iraqis.

These "loose ends" include the presidential sites agreement; whether Iraqi
"minders" need to be present for interviews of Iraqi scientists, experts and
others; and security in the no-fly zones.

Blix and El-Baradei recently agreed not to begin inspections until the
Security Council has decided on any new resolution on Iraq.,0005.htm

Hindustani Times, from Press Trust of India, 11th October

International law specialists, in a letter to the UN Security Council,
challenged the legality of the kind of preventive war which US President
George W Bush has urged against Iraq.

"There is no precedent in international law for use of force as a preventive
measure in response to a potential threat of violence," the lawyers said in
a letter, to all 15 council members, released on Thursday.

Dated Tuesday, the letter was signed by Peter Weiss, president of the
Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy in New York, and by Jacqueline Cabasso,
executive director of Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland,
California, an affiliate of the Lawyers' Alliance Against Nuclear Arms.

It was released as the US House of Representatives voted 296-133 to give
Bush power to use force to disarm Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The US Senate
is expected to do likewise today.

Bush said the House had sent a message to the United Nations that "the
gathering threat of Iraq must be confronted, fully and finally."

He had previously made clear that he was willing to act pre-emptively and
without UN approval if necessary.

But in their letter, Weiss and Cabasso said preventive war "appears contrary
to the (UN) Charter, given the Charter's emphasis on the peaceful resolution
of disputes and the non-use of force.

UK [only] MATTERS [for a little while]

by Jean Eaglesham
Financial Times, 7th October

Tony Blair, the UK prime minister, has been warned by his attorney-general
that military action against Iraq to force a regime change would breach
international law.

The clear advice from Lord Goldsmith and Harriet Harman, the solicitor
general, places the prime minister in a potentially "impossible position",
according to legal experts.

The warning explains why the government has been careful to avoid any
suggestion its military threats are designed to force Saddam Hussein out.

Mr Blair is sympathetic to President George W. Bush's threats to act
unilaterally against Iraq if United Nations disarmament moves fail. But
President Bush's repeated emphasis on regime change - reiterated last week
when the White House appeared to endorse the assassination of Mr Hussein -
would make any concrete UK military support for such US action very

Mr Blair last month said Britain "will always act in accordance with
international law".

The law officers' confidential advice to Mr Blair sets out limited
circumstances in which international law could allow military action in
support of existing UN Security Council resolutions, and gives legal backing
for action to enforce the fresh resolution under negotiation at the UN. But
it rules out war to achieve regime change.

Were the government to breach international law, it could find itself before
the International Court of Justice facing charges for breaching the UN

The US is unlikely to be deterred from unilateral action by such
constraints. However, such action would strain relations with the UK,
America's closest ally. Mr Blair would find it difficult to support the US
without splitting his party.

Many of his cabinet members are opposed in private to military action that
does not have at least nominal UN backing. The law officers' advice has
strengthened their resolve.

Meanwhile, Jack Straw, UK foreign minister, on Sunday told the BBC he "did
not accept [Mr Blair] has received a rebuff" from President Bush over the
UK's plans for a Middle East peace conference by the end of the year.

Times of India (from AFP), 10th October

LONDON: War against Iraq without further backing from the United Nations is
unacceptable, 52 bishops of the Church of England have said in an
unprecedented document, Britain's The Times daily reported on Thursday.

The bishops said that a "preventive" war 'action to stop Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction would cause immense

They recognised that military action can sometimes be justified "as a last
resort" to enforce compliance with UN Security Council resolutions.

"We nonetheless hold that to undertake a preventive war at this juncture
would be to lower the threshold for war unacceptably," The Times quoted the
churchmen as saying.

The bishops added that military action would fall outside the Christian
criteria for a "just war".

The Bishop of Southwark, Tom Butler, told The Times: "We do recognise that
in the last resort it might be necessary for the United Nations to use force
to enforce its resolutions.

"But that is a long way down the line... I don't think we are in conflict
with the government, I think we are wanting to stiffen the government's

However, the bishops' stance raised the prospect of one of the most serious
clashes between the British state and the church in decades, should Prime
Minister Tony Blair go ahead in support of US action against Iraq without UN
backing, the Times said.

The 52 bishops, who make up the Church of England's General Synod's House of
Bishops, issued their document on Wednesday evening as a submission to
parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

WORLD  [only] MATTERS [for a little while]

Dawn, 5th October

RETHYMNO, Oct 4: Germany said on Friday it remained at odds with the United
States on how to deal with Iraq and warned there would be far-reaching
political and economic consequences if a strike was launched on Baghdad.

Defence Minister Peter Struck, whose country's outspoken opposition to a
possible US-led campaign against Iraq has frayed relations between Berlin
and Washington, said he hoped to meet US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
within two months.

"We have talks at a lower level and I believe I will meet my colleague
Donald Rumsfeld in the next weeks or perhaps in the next two months," he
told reporters as he arrived for a European Union defence ministers' meeting
on the Greek island of Crete.

French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder this
week united in opposition to a US draft resolution that would effectively
empower Washington to launch a war if Iraq impeded UN weapons inspections.

"There are, as before, differing opinions between my country and the United
States," Struck said.

"We are of the opinion that the next step should be for inspectors to go in
to assess (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein's ability to build weapons of
mass destruction, but others are already set on military action."

Rumsfeld had refused to hold a bilateral meeting with Struck at a NATO
meeting in Warsaw last week, citing the "poisoned" relations between the two

There were signs this week that tensions between Washington and Berlin were

US President George W. Bush congratulated Germany on the 12th anniversary of
its reunification on Thursday, and US officials said Secretary of State
Colin Powell had talked to Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and that they
planned to meet.-Reuters

Dawn, 6th October, 28 Rajab 1423

ROME, Oct 5: Thousands of anti-war demonstrators took to the streets of Rome
and several other major Italian cities including Milan, Bologna, Venice and
Florence on Saturday to protest US plans for war on Iraq.

Organizers said between 10,000 and 15,000 demonstrators turned out in the
capital waving anti-war banners and slogans in support of the Palestinians,
and singing songs of Italian World War II anti-Fascist partisan fighters.

About 100 activists besieged the British consulate in Venice, chanting: "We
say no to the logic of war. Let's disobey and desert!"

British Honorary Consul, Ivor Neil Coward, received a delegation who asked
him to make their views known to British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
President George W. Bush's most enthusiastic European supporter of a hard
line on Iraq.

The right-wing Italian government of Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has
also come out strongly in favour of tough action against Iraq.

Other major European states including France and Germany have been much more

Saturday's demonstrations followed a mass turnout of an estimated 100,000 a
week ago in Rome in protest against the prospect of war against Iraq.

In Florence, demonstrators estimated at between 5,000 and 10,000 chanted
anti-Bush slogans during a march organized by the anti-globalization
umbrella group Social Forum.

The US authorities on Friday advised their nationals to stay away from
anti-war protests in Italy, saying there could be violence.

Crowds also demonstrated in Milan, saying they were against war under any

Some 3,000 also demonstrated in Cagliari on the Mediterranean island of

A group of Italian non-governmental organisations representing 14,000
volunteers in 80 countries said some 80 per cent of Italians were opposed to
war against Iraq. Demonstrations also occurred in Switzerland with some
2,000 marching through Geneva. AFP

Tehran Times, 7th October

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia rebuked the United States over Iraq on Sunday and
rapped the West in general for pushing a globalization agenda damaging to
developing nations.

Opening the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum East Asia, Deputy
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lambasted Washington's goal of a change
of regime in Baghdad.

"One nation cannot demand that another change its government -- or else,"
said Abdullah, whose government's views reflect wider Muslim anger with U.S.
policy toward Iraq and Israel, he told Reuters.

"No nation has the right to wage war on another without the authorization of
the United Nations' Security Council," he said in a paper delivered at the
outset of the three-day meeting.

Abdullah labeled as "totally undemocratic" the United Nation's veto system,
which allows any of the five permanent members of the Security Council to
block a resolutions.

"It places the fate of world peace and global justice sometimes in the hand
of one solitary nation, acting in defiance of the wishes of the vast
majority," he said.

In February Malaysia takes over chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement,
grouping 114 developing nations, and hopes to rekindle some fire in an
organization which lost its spark after the Cold War ended more than a
decade ago.

Abdullah, who will succeed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in late 2003,
branded the West's domination of the world's financial and trading systems
"the dark side of globalization".


Bangladeshi Independent, 6th October

Irbil, Oct 5 (AP): Lawmakers from rival Iraqi Kurdish factions met for the
first time in eight years Friday, in a rare show of political unity ahead of
a possible U.S. attack on Iraq.

The Kurdistan National Assembly session brought together legislators from
the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, as well
as representatives of northern Iraq's Christian minority.

The assembly was elected in 1992, but this was the first time the full
105-seat chamber has met since 1994, when political tension between the two
parties' leaders exploded into a four-year civil war.

Relations between the two camps have gradually improved since a 1998
U.S.-brokered truce, and the northern area of Iraq that is home to Kurds
became relatively safe and prosperous.

The two leaders, Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and
Massoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, sat next to each other
Friday in the assembly's cramped chamber. The local and foreign guests
included Danielle Mitterrand, widow of French President Francois Mitterrand
and a longtime advocate of Kurdish rights. U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell sent a message commending the Kurdish lawmakers for their show of
unity but warning "the road ahead is difficult."

"Now that you share the same assembly room, I am sure that you will also
share a commitment to the security, prosperity and freedom of all Iraqis
both in the home areas you represent and in Iraq as a whole."

The show of harmony between Barzani and Talabani, both foes of President
Saddam Hussein, comes as the United States prepares for a possible attack on
Iraq and the removal of the Iraqi leader. Washington accuses Saddam of
stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and of harboring terrorists.

"Our goal now is not just to make Kurdistan free, but to make Iraq free,"
said Barzani. Rising Kurdish nationalism has worried neighboring Turkey, a
close U.S. ally which has a 12 million strong Kurdish community of its own,
as well as Iran and Syria. All three oppose any partitioning of Iraq. "This
meeting should not exceed its limits, it should not be presented to others
as a sign of a move toward the declaration of independence," Turkish Foreign
Minister Sukru Sina Gurel told CNN-Turk television.

Kurds insist they don't want a new nation, just a semiautonomous enclave
within a federal Iraqi government in Baghdad.

In the 1980s, Saddam's forces allegedly abducted more than 100,000 men from
Kurdish villages and gassed Kurds in the town of Halabja in 1988.

"Our people have been striving for a long time," said Rosh Noori Shawais,
the assembly's speaker. "They have been subjected to chemical bombardment
and oppression.

They deserve legal rights within the framework of international law."

Northern Iraq has been under U.S.-British aerial protection since shortly
after 1991 Gulf War, when the Iraqi army suppressed revolts by the Kurds and
Shiites in the south.

Turkish Press (Anadolu Agency), 6th October

ANKARA - While the Kurdish parliament in Northern Iraq convened for the
first time since 1996, Turkey found positive the statements of Iraqi
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massaud Barzani and Patriotic Union
for Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani as positive.

Turkish officials discussed the same day the re-opening of the Kurdish
parliament in Iraq after a long time. Turkey considered positive Talabani's
and Barzani's positive approach to the territorial integrity of Iraq and the
respresentation of Turkmens, while it will closely monitor the
representation of Turkmens in proportion to their population. Ankara wants
Turkmens to be represented in the parliament by 10-15 percent and it
concluded that there was no extraordinary situation in convention of the

A high ranking official said that the message the U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powel sent to the opening of the parliament stressing the territorial
integrity of Iraq was also in line with Ankara's approach.

Turkey believes that a U.N. Security Council Resolution has to be adopted in
case of a possible U.S. operation against Iraq and the U.S. has to continue
its efforts to this end.

Turkey conveyed once again the warning to the U.S. officials that if no
legal basis can be formed for a possible operation against Iraq, the
legitimacy of the operation would be questioned.

Presidential Foreign Affairs Chief Adviser Tacan Ildem also said the same
day that there was no need to convene the Turkish parliament due to
developments about Iraq.

by Borzou Daragahi In Barzan, Iraq
The Scotsman, 10th October

LIKE many of the women in this mountainous village of Iraqi Kurdistan, Qazal
Bashir works the fields. The women herd the animals, build the homes and
feed the children. They have no choice. Their men are gone, disappeared.
Each night, Ms Bashir continues the long vigil for her husband, Omar Hassan,
who was taken by Saddam Hussein's soldiers 19 years ago and never seen

"Until I'm at the edge of my grave I'll wait for him to come home," says Ms
Bashir. Her husband was rounded up from the camp where the family had been
forcibly resettled, taken away just a year after the couple married, one
night after they had their first and only child.

Her tragedy was caused in part by the United States, whose 1974 decision to
pull the plug on an anti-Baghdad Kurdish insurrection cleared the way for
the Iraqi government to exact revenge on the Kurds.

The Kurds have been brutalised by Saddam for 30 years, and abused and
manipulated by their powerful Arab, Persian and Turkish neighbours for
centuries. As the US demands "regime change" in Iraq, the Kurds and their
suffering are again in the spotlight.

But the families here wonder if their history of sorrow is coming to an end,
or whether they are once again the pawns of the big powers.

"Am I worried about being used and being left high and dry? Yes," says
Barham Salih, prime minister of the section of northern Iraq controlled by
Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. "But I'm hoping that we're
talking about a new reality. We have an overt commitment from the United
States to bring about a democratic, pluralistic, regional government in

Kurds have suffered the full brunt of the Baghdad regime's violence.
According to a Human Rights Watch report, at least 50,000 men died in just
one of Saddam's numerous campaigns against the Kurds throughout the 1980s.
Kurdish officials in this autonomous section of Iraq, protected by the US
no-fly zone, count 180,000 missing men in the 1980s. Those numbers are
palpable in towns like Barzan, where women outnumber men by as many as four
to one.

Those numbers don't include the victims of Iraq's chemical bombardments at
Halabja, the dusty former resort town where 5,000 people were gassed to
death in 1988.

Lack of resources to help people recover from - and prepare for - chemical
warfare adds to the cynicism about Western intentions in Iraq.

"Really, there is no preparation for any foreseeable chemical or biological
incident," says Fouad Baban, a doctor who treats Halabja victims.

"Many people come to us," says Mala Nazif, who lost 35 relatives in Halabja
and continues to suffer from skin problems. "Nobody addresses our problems.
Our people are dying. We still don't get any medicine. We are all treated
like we're already dead people."

Foreign powers played a role in each of Saddam's assaults against the Kurds.
In 1991, his forces shelled Kurdish cities and drove tens of thousands of
people into the mountains to crush an uprising the US initially encouraged.
His fears of Kurdish collaboration with Iran in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war
fed his fury against them in the 1980s.

In the 1970s, he exacted revenge on the home town of the guerrilla leader
Massoud Barzani by rounding up residents and placing them in detention camps
after the US and Iran cut the flow of arms.

Today, the women of Barzan wear black, shunning the bright purples and
yellows of traditional Kurdish costume, and as they tell their stories,
children gather around the shaded courtyard and begin to weep.

Ms Bashir, 36, vividly remembers the last time she saw her husband, early on
a midsummer morning in 1983. Walkie-talkies crackling, soldiers surrounded
the homes and ordered the men out. "They said it was just for a meeting, a
meeting in Baghdad, and that they would be back by sundown," she said. " The
men were gone in an hour."

The years that followed the loss of sons, husbands, and fathers were a
nightmare. The women remained stuck in a camp, surrounded day and night by
Saddam's soldiers. They had to find work, but dared not leave their
remaining children alone. Since 1991, when US fighter jets put northern Iraq
off-limits to Iraqi forces, life has improved. The women moved back to their
ancestral villages. The Kurdistan Democratic Party, which governs this
section of northern Iraq, provides 300 dinars (about £20) a month for each
missing head of family.

Ms Bashir was only 14 when she married. Her husband, 22, worked at a rug

He awoke at 4am to get ready for work, and her mother would ask him to pick
up groceries on the way home. Still groggy, he would take out a notebook and
diligently jot down a list.

"If the whole world became heaven and jewels, it will still be a sad world
for us," she said.


The Star (Malaysia), 6th October

BERLIN: A one-time national coach of the former East Germany is currently in
Baghdad to sign a four-year contract to guide the Iraqi national football

Bernd Stange, who has been accused of cooperating with the Stasi, the
infamous Communist-era secret police, said he was not concerned about the
possibility of a United States-led war against President Saddam Hussein's

"I am a football coach, not a politician. I believe in the Olympic ideal and
I see my mission over there as an ambassador for peace," Stange told German
sports agency SID and Kicker magazine. 

"I had the choice between a fourth division German club like Carl Zeiss Jena
or this adventure in Iraq. 

"There are risks in every job. Winfried Schafer (the German coach of
Cameroon) could be attacked by a lion in Cameroon." 

Stange, who was in charge of the East German national team from 1983 to
1988, has made the trip to Iraq in defiance of advice from the German
foreign ministry to avoid travelling to the country. 

A ministry spokesman said: "A work contract of this kind is a strictly
private affair and is the decision of Mr Stange." 

Stange said his aim was to lead Iraq to qualification for the 2006 World Cup

"The opportunity of helping Iraq to qualify for the 2006 World Cup is my
main aim," he said. 

He faces an uphill task ­ Iraq are currently ranked 51st in the world
standings by world football's governing body FIFA and have only qualified
for the World Cup Finals once, in 1986, when they lost all three of their

Stange, 54, said he was optimistic. "The Iraqis are mad about football and I
would currently rank them fifth on the Asian continent, which has four
places for the 2006 World Cup. So the chances are good." 

He was last employed as coach of Oman but he was sacked in September last
year after just 10 weeks in charge. 

Stange's other career highlights include coaching VfB Leipzig, then in the
German first division, until 1994 before working for Ukrainian club Dniepr
Dnepropetrovsk and he then led Perth Glory to the league runners-up spot in
Australia. ­ AFP

Hoover's (Financial Times), 8th October

ndonesia's state-owned Pertamina Gas Company has allocated $64.2 million of
its budget to develop oil exploration projects abroad. The company plans to
sign an agreement with the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company to develop a 17,700
square kilometer oil field in the state's western desert.

Iraq and Indonesia's signed an agreement last March to enhance bilateral
cooperation in oil and gas exploration. The agreement called for Pertamina
to drill for oil and gas at a 10,000 square kilometer block in the western
desert. In addition, Iraq's Oil Mminister and his Indonesian counterpart
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for technical cooperation between
the two ministries.

Indonesia has made previous efforts to boost cooperation with Iraq under the
United Nations' (UN) oil-for-food program. Iraq has been under a strict UN
embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The oil-for-food program, which
has been in place since 1996 and allows embargo-hit Iraq to sell oil and buy
food, medicine and other essentials for its 22 million people. -

by Gareth Smyth in Beirut
Financial Times, 9th October

Lebanese exporters are gearing up for the 35th annual Baghdad International
Trade Fair, which starts on November 1, even if many are hesitating over new
contracts given US threats of war against Iraq.

"We expect to have more companies than any other country, and to be second
after Turkey in the amount of space we take in the pavilion," said Fares
Saad of the Lebanese Industrialists Association (LIA).

Despite the cumbersome and time-consuming paperwork involved in trading with
Iraq through the United Nations 'oil for food' scheme introduced in 1997,
Lebanon has built up exports to Iraq of at least $250m this year, about a
third of all its exports.

"Many people are worried that we will lose our main business," said Ahmad
Kabbara, who heads the LIA export committee and whose company exports wooden
doors and school desks to Iraq.

"We are being put under pressure by all the uncertainty," said Jacques
Sarraf, president of Malia Holding, whose subsidiaries export
pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to Iraq.

"First there was talk of war in October, then November, now March - and I
have contracts before me to supply medicines in April 2003. Should I sign
them, or not?"

The LIA expects about 100 Lebanese companies to send representatives to the
Baghdad Fair, slightly down from last year, when the event attracted
companies from Denmark, Sweden and Russia, as well as from the Arab and
Muslim worlds.

Lebanon's millennia-old trading links with Iraq were based originally on the
'fertile crescent' arching round from the Mediterranean, north of the Syrian
desert, and down the Euphrates and Tigris to the Baghdad and the Gulf.

"Beirut and Tripoli became the natural ports of Iraq," said Basil Fuleihan,
the minister of trade and economy, who will lead Lebanon's delegation to the
Trade Fair next month.

But the Lebanese civil war of 1975-90, the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88 and the
US-Iraq war of 1991 and consequent UN sanctions all disrupted this trade -
until the 1997 'oil for food' programme re-opened the opportunity for
Lebanon's exporters.

But now the Lebanese fear that, once again, politics will slam the door in
their face.

"People fear that the US wants to control Iraq rather than allow Arabs deal
with other Arabs," said Mr Sarraf.

"Who can say it will be a short war, and even if it is, who says the
American soldiers can create peace? The Americans came to Lebanon in 1983 to
'make peace' and once 240 of their soldiers were killed they left almost

"Who can guarantee that US soldiers can make peace in Iraq? This is not

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