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http://tinyurl.com/glrr AFX-Focus) 2003-07-11 00:17 GMT: US administration in Iraq seeks extra 800 mln usd to aid oil sector - official BAGHDAD (AFX-ASIA) - The US civil administration in Iraq is requesting an additional 800 mln usd from Congress to aid the recovery of the nation's oil industry, taking the total cost to 1.2 bln, a senior coalition official said. The official said the administration is requesting the money to repair the country's oil fields, considered the cornerstone for its revival. Congress had already earmarked 400 mln usd to repair the fields, but faced with blown up pipelines, looting, and refineries and equipment in worse shape than previously thought, the US civilian administrator for Iraq Paul Bremer is asking an additional 800 mln, the official said on condition of anonymity. The official added that the coalition aimed to pump out 1.2 mln barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the year and to more than double the figure to 3.0 mln bpd by next spring or early summer. Oil is crucial to the coalition's plans for the country as Bremer is banking on Iraqi petroleum sales to generate 3.4 bln usd in the state coffers this year, which would pay for half of Iraq's 6 bln usd 2003 budget. The official said plans are underway to collaborate on the 2004 budget with the Iraqi governing council, to be unveiled later this month, as the US-led occupation tries to make Iraq into democracy after years of Saddam's authoritarian rule. Meanwhile, the coalition's military commanders are mulling the creation of an indigenous paramilitary force in Iraq to help shoulder the growing security burden. Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said he is considering using tribal forces to help protect infrastructure which is under relentless threat of sabotage from Saddam loyalists. "The key here is to close the gap between the police and the army, and we believe that we can in fact stand up very rapidly some force that is in between those two ends of the spectrum that will allow us to get Iraqis beginning to assume some of the responsibility for bringing security and stability." Sanchez gave no timeframe for the creation of such a militia or indication of how large it would be. Iraqi citizens, particularly in the capital Baghdad, have expressed outrage at the coalition's failure to provide a sense of security in the country in the three months since Saddam's regime tumbled. _______________________________________________ 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