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[casi] Bush Seeks End to U.N. Sanctions on Iraq

Bush Seeks End to U.N. Sanctions on Iraq
Wed April 16, 2003 03:58 PM ET
By Randall Mikkelsen;jsessionid=OI2FVUWSDWSCYCRBAE0CFFA?type=topNews&storyID=2579031
ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - President Bush on Wednesday urged the United Nations to lift economic 
sanctions on Iraq, a move which would clear the way for the country to sell oil to help pay for 
post-war reconstruction.

"Now that Iraq is liberated the United Nations should lift economic sanctions on that country," 
Bush told about 1,000 workers in an often politically flavored speech at a Boeing jet fighter plant.

At the United Nations, diplomats said that an end to sanctions should depend on the world body 
certifying that Iraq is free of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, one of the reasons 
Washington gave for the war.

The United States intends to propose a resolution to lift the sanctions "in the near future," White 
House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

The U.S. ambassador at the United Nations John Negroponte told reporters Washington was still 
working on the specifics of how sanctions would be lifted, but added: "I think we envision some 
sort of step-by-step procedure."

A vote by the U.N. Security Council, where war opponents France and Russia hold veto power, is 
required to lift the sanctions. U.S. officials have said they do not expect these countries to pose 
any obstacles.

At the U.N. Security Council diplomats said discussions among its 15 member-nations including the 
United States could begin next Tuesday with a briefing from chief weapons inspector Hans Blix.


The diplomats hinted that the key to lifting sanctions might depend on a U.S. willingness to 
readmit U.N. arms inspectors. Under existing council resolutions, before the sanctions can be 
lifted, U.N. inspectors must certify that Iraq is free of all weapons of mass destruction.

The United States has so far resisted opening the door to a return of the inspectors who were 
pulled out shortly before the war started. But other council members say letting the United States 
pursue the inspection process would lack credibility in the international community.

The sanctions, imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, currently prohibit countries from 
buying Iraqi oil or selling goods to Iraq other than through an U.N.-administered oil-for-food 

Bush's speech, in a politically important state that is home to Democratic presidential candidate 
Rep. Richard Gephardt, touted successes of the four-week-old war on Iraq in a way that foreshadowed 
likely themes of his 2004 reelection campaign. Bush narrowly won Missouri in 2000.

Bush associated the Iraq war with the war against terrorism. "Since September the 11th we've been 
engaged in a global war against terror ... that war continues and we are winning," he said to 
applause from the Boeing factory workers.

It was his first civilian audience on a trip outside Washington since the war began 27 days ago but 
the war theme was evident in the F/A-18 fighter jet that flanked Bush at the plant.

Bush's early reelection campaigning and fund-raising have been delayed by the war. But now, in 
addition to touting successes in Iraq, Bush has stepped up promotion of his economic agenda.


He urged Congress to quickly pass his proposed tax cut, saying the country needed the economic 
stimulus. On Monday Bush scaled back his goal for the cut, originally $726 billion, to $550 
billion, due to congressional opposition to bigger cuts.

"In order for all Americans who are looking for work to find work, the Congress must pass this 
jobs' package as soon as they come back from their recess," Bush said.

Bush's father, former President George Bush, lost a reelection bid after being criticized as 
indifferent to economic woes after the 1991 Gulf War, teaching an oft-cited lesson to his son.

Gephardt responded to Bush's appearance with a statement saying, "All that President Bush has to 
offer those workers and other Americans struggling in this bad economy is more unaffordable, 
unsustainable and patently unfair tax cuts."

Before leaving for St. Louis, Bush signed a $79 billion package to pay for the war in Iraq. He 
stopped in St. Louis on his way to spend the Easter holiday at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Copyright Reuters

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