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News, 10-17/9/03 (3) "INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY" * Changes sought to U.S. resolution on Iraq * More troops will not boost security in Iraq Schroeder * Spanish Judge Jails Al-Jazeera Reporter * Iraq and the divided world * PTI opposes sending troops to Iraq * Foreigners financed the U.S. war in Iraq * India has ruled out sending troops to Iraq, UN mandate or not: reports * Immigrants sue Spanish PM for claiming terror groups link * UN work slows to a crawl in Iraq FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS * Cabinet stresses Chalabi case criminal not political * Iranian rebels in Iraq "contained" - U.S. military * Mujahedeen ready to harass US, Kurds and Tehran * Turkey, U.S. OK plan on Kurdish rebels * MPs condemn US attack on Jordanian hospital in Iraq * Occupied Iraq And OPEC Conference Meetings "INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY" http://www.sunspot.net/news/nationworld/bal te.iraq11sep11,0,5252252.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines * CHANGES SOUGHT TO U.S. RESOLUTION ON IRAQ Baltimore Sun, from Associated Press, 11th September UNITED NATIONS - In amendments to a U.S. draft resolution, France, Germany and Russia are urging a speedy transfer of power from the U.S.-led coalition to an interim Iraqi administration. The amendments, obtained yesterday by the Associated Press, demand more power for Iraqis and the United Nations in running the country. The amendments were given to the United States ahead of a meeting called by Secretary- General Kofi Annan to try to get the veto-wielding, permanent members of the Security Council to unite behind a plan to stabilize Iraq. Foreign ministers of the five - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - were to attend the meeting Saturday in Geneva. U.S. Deputy Ambassador James Cunningham said the Geneva meeting would not focus on the amendment text but on what must be done to get the international community to come together "to get the job that we want done in Iraq." The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, told the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee yesterday that the 15 EU nations were still "a long way from achieving consensus both among ourselves and with other members of the Security Council." The U.S. draft resolution invites the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council to cooperate with the United Nations and U.S. officials in Baghdad to produce "a timetable and program for the drafting of a new constitution for Iraq and for the holding of democratic elections." But it contains no time frame and it leaves the key decision in the hands of the Governing Council, which has taken months to form a Cabinet. The United States believes Iraqis must remain in charge of this process - but France, Germany and Russia want a much faster timetable. The French-German amendments call for immediately "initiating under the auspices of the U.N. a new process leading ... to the full restoration of Iraqi authority." They call for an interim Iraqi administration to take control of "all civilian areas, including control over natural resources and use of international assistance." The French-German amendments and separate Russian amendments ask the secretary general to assist the Governing Council in developing a timetable for drafting a constitution and holding elections. The Russians don't go as far as the French and Germans in demanding the immediate handover of authority to Iraqis. Moscow's proposal endorses the principle of Iraqis governing themselves quickly, saying that the Iraqi interim administration should "be gradually assuming more executive authority" as it implements the timetable toward elections. [.....] http://www.jordantimes.com/Thu/news/news7.htm * MORE TROOPS WILL NOT BOOST SECURITY IN IRAQ SCHROEDER Jordan Times, 11th September BERLIN (AFP) Sending more troops to Iraq will do little to improve security, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Wednesday again ruling out the participation of German troops in any future multinational force there. But Schroeder said Berlin was ready to help the war-torn Gulf state rebuild by training Iraqi police officers in Germany and offering the use of its military schools for preparing a new army. Speaking to parliament during a budget debate, Schroeder said he doubted "whether increasing the number of soldiers there now, no matter who provides them, really mean an improvement in security." He said Iraq would be better served by "quickly installing a real Iraqi authority." "If more soldiers were to be sent to the country, then it would be better if they came from countries which have a closer relationship with the Islamic faith," he added. With US troops under steady attack in Iraq, Washington has proposed that the UN Security Council create a multinational security force to counter the instability, and to legitimise the US-installed Iraqi Governing Council. Berlin opposed the US-led war on Iraq, which was waged without UN approval, and has been lobbying ever since for the United Nations to return to the fore and be given a central role in rebuilding. "I do not believe that we are in a situation, where we should take part militarily," Schroeder told the deputies. He said Germany was ready "alone or with others in Europe" to help train Iraqi police officers who could help ensure a return to stability. Washington is seeking troops at a time when Germany is struggling to get its economic house in order. In May, Defence Minister Peter Struck unveiled plans to transform the army into a leaner force that could be rapidly deployed overseas on anti-terror and peacekeeping missions, but he also announced deep spending cuts. Schroeder told parliament that Germany's military duties in the Balkans and Afghanistan was another reason why the military, the Bundeswehr, would not be able to take part. Germany, after the United States, has the greatest number of troops deployed abroad in peacekeeping operations and in the Horn of Africa as part of the international war on terror. He reiterated "the war against international terror has not been won," notably in Afghanistan where Berlin would like to send for the first time a special contingent of troops to assist rebuilding outside the capital Kabul. In an interview with the weekly news magazine Stern, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer welcomed US plans to seek a new UN resolution on Iraq. He said he hoped it would produce "a really new strategy" that would see the United Nations play a central role and result in the rapid restoration of Iraqi sovereignty. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-eur/2003/sep/11/091109614.html * SPANISH JUDGE JAILS AL-JAZEERA REPORTER by MAR ROMAN Las Vegas Sun, 11th September MADRID, Spain (AP) - A Spanish judge on Thursday formally charged a top reporter for Al-Jazeera of being a member of al-Qaida, saying he carried out "support, financing and coordination" for the terrorist network. Investigating judge Baltasar Garzon charged Tayssir Alouni, 48, with membership in an armed group and ordered him held in the high-security Soto del Real prison near Madrid after a 72-hour extension of his arrest expired, the National Court said. Alouni was not present during the hearing. "Removed from his work as a journalist but taking advantage of it he carries out support, financing and coordination, which are the characteristics of a qualified militant of the organization," Garzon's statement read. The charge will be followed by a more detailed indictment. In the Spanish legal system, investigating judges issue the indictments against defendants, who then go to a full trial. Alouni's wife, Fatima Zohra Hamed Layesi, burst into tears upon learning the news. Al-Jazeera has been criticized by some Western governments as being too biased toward Islamic militants, but the network's standing among Arab viewers also has given it remarkable access to extremist groups. On Wednesday, the network showed exclusive footage it obtained of Osama bin Laden - the first new images of the terrorist leader in nearly two years. On Thursday, Al-Jazeera reported that one of its Baghdad correspondents, Atwar Bahjat, was detained by the U.S. military while covering explosions in Baghad that went off while she was in the area. The U.S. military said an Al-Jazeera reporter was detained for breaking one of its "ground rules" for coverage, but did not elaborate. Alouni was arrested Friday in Alfacar, a southern town close to Granada. Garzon had extended his detention on Monday after quizzing the reporter for three hours. The delay gave police more time to investigate paper and electronic documents seized when Alouni was arrested. Garzon has been leading the investigation in Spain into alleged members of the al-Qaida and other militant Islamic groups. Alouni was arrested while in Spain to look into opening an office for Al-Jazeera. He is a well-known war correspondent in the Mideast for the Qatar-based Arabic satellite television network and has covered the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Alouni was born in Syria but has had Spanish nationality for more than 16 years. Meanwhile in Damascus, a group of Syrian journalists staged a sit-in outside the Spanish Embassy on Thursday to protest Alouni's arrest. They called it "an aggression against journalistic rights and freedoms." Al-Jazeera sent a letter this week to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar calling on him to release Alouni. "On several occasions Western journalists met secretly with secret organizations and they were not subjected to any legal action because they were doing their job, so why is Alouni being excluded?," the letter said. Before working for Al-Jazeera, Alouni worked at the Arab-language service of Efe, Spain's new agency. Police are investigating whether Alouni provided support to alleged members of an al Qaida cell in Spain, including Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, considered to be the leader of the cell. Barakat Yarkas and seven others were arrested on Nov. 13, 2001 and were directly linked to "the preparation and carrying out" of the Sept. 11 attacks. They are still in custody. http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/sep/12/12092003fr.htm * IRAQ AND THE DIVIDED WORLD by MD SHAMSUDDIN Bangladeshi Independent, 12th September Before going to war in Iraq the US-UK coalition successfully managed to divide the UN, to some extent the world, and now after the war it continues to keep the entire world divided. No one really knows when would the imbroglio end, and when would normalcy return, not only in Iraq, but in the entire region. As of today, Iraq issue finds the top place in all world news and analysis. People all over the world are eagerly waiting to see the US-UK troops leave Iraq and leave the country to the Iraqis. But what is the progress in forming the Iraqi Governing Council, how effective it is going to be, and how well it represents all the Iraqis? According to a recent Associated Press report the three countries (France, Germany and Russia) - which strongly opposed the war on Iraq - are demanding that Iraqis and the United Nations play a much more important role than the one outlined in a U.S. draft resolution circulated last week. It says that "the United States decided to seek a new resolution to get more troops and money into Iraq, but the debate is focusing far more on how fast an internationally recognized Iraqi government can be established, who should be in charge of the political process leading to elections, and how much power the Governing Council should have in the interim. The United States believes the Iraqi Governing Council must remain in charge of the political timetable leading to elections and a restoration of sovereignty - but France, Germany and Russia want the United Nations to take charge of the political process and speed up the handover to the Iraqis. "Those issues are expected to dominate a meeting in Geneva tomorrow (Saturday) called by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to try to get the five veto-wielding council nations to unite behind a plan to stabilize Iraq. Foreign ministers of the five permanent council nations - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - are expected to attend the meeting. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the U.S. aim was "the ability to transfer sovereignty back to the Iraqi people and to do it in a responsible way." "The French-German amendments to the U.S. draft resolution are the most far-reaching, endorsing the Governing Council and newly named Cabinet "as the trustees of Iraqi sovereignty" and calling for them to take over administration of the country from the U.S. led Coalition Provisional Authority. "Russia's proposal is less sweeping, calling for Annan to submit a timetable for the specific steps needed to adopt a constitution and hold elections, in cooperation with the Governing Council and in consultation with the U.S.-led coalition. It stresses that "the evolving structures of the Iraqi interim administration" should gradually assume "more executive authority" as the timetable is implemented. The AP report further says, "Council diplomats said the amendments from France, Germany, Russia and Syria reflect deep divisions on the best way forward, and predict lengthy negotiations to try to reach an agreement. Syria, the only Arab nation on the council, took issue with the U.S. contention that the threats to peace and security in Iraq are caused by "terrorist acts." "The threat to international peace and security is ... because of mistakes made by the occupying power, especially dissolving the Iraqi institutions, mainly the military and security," said the Syrian amendments, also obtained by AP. "The United States and its closest ally Britain want a vote before U.S. President George W. Bush addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 23, but some council members believe that's too optimistic. As of today the political development is that The U.S. draft resolution maintains U.S. political and military control of Iraq. The AP says, "It would transform the U.S.-led coalition force into a U.N.-authorized multinational one under a unified command to help maintain "security and stability in Iraq" and urge the 191 U.N.-member states to contribute troops. A Russian amendment would ensure that there would be no separate coalition force and that the single multinational force would be led by the United States. Meanwhile, many countries in the east and middle are waiting for the UN role in Iraq before deciding on the issue whether they would send troops to Iraq or not. All these small countries are indebted to the US in one way or the other and they are now in an uncomfortable situation on the issue. The report mentions that the U.N. authorization would hopefully spur countries such as Turkey, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who say they need a U.N. mandate to commit troops to Iraq. "The U.S. draft also invites the Governing Council to cooperate with the United Nations and U.S. officials in Baghdad to produce "a timetable and program" for drafting a new Iraqi constitution and for holding elections. It contains no timeframe and leaves the key decision in the hands of the Governing Council, which has taken months just to form a Cabinet. "The French-German amendments mark a radical change in the attitude of both countries toward the Governing Council. When it was formed on July 13, France and Germany balked at endorsing it - and it took a month for the United States to get the Security Council to adopt a resolution simply welcoming the Governing Council. "Council diplomats said the shift reflects the realities on the ground - that the Governing Council is the best starting point to restore Iraq's sovereignty. But the United States has made clear that it is not going to hand over power immediately, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity. AP adds further, "The French and Germans also made clear in their amendments that they want "full transparency and effective international participation and oversight" of all funds for Iraq's economic reconstruction before they and other countries make substantial contributions, a reference to America's issuance of reconstruction contracts to major U.S. companies without competitive bidding." >From the elaborate AP report it becomes obvious that the intricacies with regard to making the Governing Council functioning with full authority and bringing back chaos on the roads and streets of Baghdad and elsewhere in the country is still not over. Peace, therefore, is still illusive in Iraq. The world continues to remain divided over the Iraq issue as it encomapasses many problems affecting all the actors on the stage. Every country is now busy ensuring its cut in Iraq. It does not matter how the Iraqis are themselves feeling about it. It is indeed the biggest tragedy in recent times. http://www.dawn.com/2003/09/12/nat3.htm * PTI OPPOSES SENDING TROOPS TO IRAQ Dawn, 12th September ISLAMABAD, Sept 11: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan has threatened to launch a mass agitation movement against the government if it decides to send troops to Iraq. Talking to reporters at the party's central secretariat here on Thursday, the PTI chief said the party had planned to mobilize public opinion and to hold protest demonstrations, if the government decided to send troops to Iraq. He asked all political parties, labour unions, lawyers bodies, women organizations, traders, students and NGOs to hold joint rallies since the issue was fundamental to the ideology of Pakistan. He said the time had proved that Iraq was invaded on false pretext as no weapons of mass destruction had been found in the country. Similarly, the US had failed to find any link between Saddam Hussain and Al Qaeda. Mr Khan said President Bush talked to Gen Musharraf on telephone in an desperate attempt to seek support of the Muslim world as he knew that the US had been trapped in Iraq. Moreover, he said, there would be elections in the US next year, and President Bush knew that it would be difficult for him to win the polls if bodies continued to arrive in the country from Iraq. He opposed the idea of sending troops to Iraq even under the United Nations umbrella as, according to him, the UN was merely a foreign policy tool of powerful states. Instead of sending troops to defend the US soldiers, Pakistan must demand end to occupation of Iraq, he asked. The PTI chief Mr Khan said sending of troops to Iraq would be against the ideology of Pakistan, which was created in the name of Islam. He was of the view that any such decision would further antagonize the Arab world as they had not forgotten the role of Pakistan during the Suiz crisis in 1956 when Pakistan government, under the "doctrine of supreme national interest", sided with the West against the Arab national interests. He further said the decision would increase political instability in the country and increase extremist tendencies. "By endorsing the illegal occupation of Iraq, we will undermine our moral stand on the Indian occupation of Kashmir," he added. Talking about the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to India, he said the agreements signed there were between the two fundamentalists. He was of the view that India always supported Palestinians and opposed Israel, but with this government, the relations between the two fundamentalist parties were getting strong. http://www.iht.com/articles/109766.html * FOREIGNERS FINANCED THE U.S. WAR IN IRAQ by Floyd Norris International Herald Tribune, from New York Times, 12th September The Bush administration is not very popular overseas, at least if you believe the polls. But if money could talk, it would tell a different story. For most of this year's second quarter, the United States was waging a war in Iraq, with help from Britain and not very many others. There were demonstrations around the world against the war. But guess who was financing it? The world was. Figures released this week showed that private foreign citizens bought an unprecedented $129 billion of U.S. government and agency securities. Official accounts, mostly central banks, added $43 billion to that total. In all, foreign investors bought almost 80 percent of the net increase in Treasury and agency debt during the quarter. They now own 38 percent of Treasury securities outstanding, more than double the figure of a decade ago. Those numbers came from the Federal Reserve this week in its quarterly flow of funds report. That report tends to be ignored because it is late, voluminous and complicated. But the foreign aspect of it is extraordinarily important these days because the United States needs to attract so much capital from the rest of the world. It needs that capital because of the huge current-account deficit the country is running. That deficit - largely reflecting the trade deficit - went above 5 percent of gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year for the first time in U.S. history. The second-quarter number, when it is released Monday, is likely to be about the same. Such deficits can be financed only by investment flows. If they are not large enough, then currency values must adjust. A few years ago, it was fashionable in some circles to argue that the growing current-account deficit was a sign of American strength because it reflected just how attractive American investments were internationally. That argument does not work now. In the late 1990's, most of the foreign investment was going into investments that were a bet on the vibrancy of the American economy: corporate stocks and direct investment, meaning foreigners were buying companies or building plants. A lot of those investments went bad when the stock market bubble burst, reflecting the fact that foreign investors often come a bit late to parties. The really big overseas accumulations of American stocks started in 1999 and continued into 2001. The overseas investors did not turn into net sellers until the first quarter of this year, after stocks hit bottom and started to recover. In the second quarter, they bought $21 billion of shares, a big gain but less than one-third of the amount they bought in early 2000, when the market was peaking. The second-quarter surge in private purchases of Treasury securities may reflect a bit of bubble buying as well, as plunging bond yields and rising prices attracted speculators. John Vail, senior strategist of Mizuho Securities USA, said that Japanese investors appeared to have sold Treasury issues in July, when rates were rising and prices were falling. But speculators aside, much of the foreign investment reflects the need for a place to park the dollars those investors receive when they sell all those Toyotas, textiles and toys in the United States. It's a nice situation while it lasts. Americans get cheap imports, and the flood of foreign money helps to hold down U.S. interest rates and support the dollar. The war can be financed relatively cheaply because rates are so low. But borrowers eventually have to pay attention to the views of the lenders. It would not be fun if foreigners began to invest the way they have been talking. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1535&ncid=1276&e=1&u=/afp/20 030912/wl_sthasia_afp/india_iraq_troops * INDIA HAS RULED OUT SENDING TROOPS TO IRAQ, UN MANDATE OR NOT: REPORTS Yahoo, 12th September NEW DELHI (AFP) - India will not send troops to Iraq (news - web sites) even if the United Nations (news - web sites) mandates multinational peacekeeping operations in the strife torn country, the Indian media reported. Quoting top government sources, newspapers said Friday the line New Delhi is now pushing is that it cannot spare any of its million-strong army for peacekeeping operations due to security threats within the country and on its borders. However, the real reason, the reports said, was that national elections are due in India by October 2004 and the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) believes it would be politically disastrous if any Indian soldier died in Iraq. India on July 14 rejected a US request to send 15,000 to 20,000 troops to Iraq but said it would reconsider if there were an explicit UN mandate. Washington has since proposed a UN resolution to send a multinational force to Iraq. However, France, Germany and Russia -- which all opposed the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) -- have expressed reservations about the UN draft resolution. Most major newspapers Friday quoted the unnamed government sources as saying that UN mandate or no UN mandate, India will not be sending troops to Iraq. "It's for the same reason that we turned down the (US) request to send troops to Liberia (news - web sites)," the Hindustan Times quoted one source as saying. "We said we're in no position to spare troops because of the situation in our northwest sector (on the border with Pakistan) and the kind of terrorist activity that happens in Kashmir (news - web sites) on a daily basis." Kashmir is in the grip of a 14-year-old Islamic insurgency which has so far claimed 38,000 lives, according to Indian figures. Separatists put the death toll between 80,000 and 100,000. India already has committed two infantry batallions for UN peacekeeping operations -- in Lebanon and along the Ethiopia-Eritrea border, the source added. Diplomatic sources said the BJP had recently taken a firm decision not to send troops to Iraq no matter what -- but for internal political rather than logistical reasons. The Hindu newspaper at the weekend hinted as much when it said domestic political considerations more than anything else were likely to dissuade the BJP, which heads India's coalition government, from sending its troops. The Hindu report said the Indian government saw "no particular merit in giving the opposition any handle" for attack. The Asian Age newspaper Friday quoted Indian Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani as telling former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill: "What would we say to the nation if our soldiers get killed?" The report said Advani made the remark when Blackwill, trying to persuade India to commit troops, had expressed concern over American soldiers being killed in the post Saddam period. http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1041396,00.html * IMMIGRANTS SUE SPANISH PM FOR CLAIMING TERROR GROUPS LINK by Giles Tremlett in Banyoles, north-east Spain The Guardian, 13th September Sixteen north Africans held in jail for two months are suing the Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, for slander after he and the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, wrongly claimed they were proof of a dangerous alliance between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The arrest of the Algerian and Moroccan immigrants in north-east Spain in January was hailed by Mr Aznar as the capture of "an important network of terrorists connected to al Qaida" armed with "explosive, chemical and electronic material". He was congratulated by George W Bush, and Mr Powell used the arrests as an example of the links between Baghdad and Bin Laden in a speech to the UN security council on February 5. But bottles and flasks containing what police claimed were "explosives and chemical products" found in their homes turned out to hold cologne, olive oil, honey, household ammonia and washing powder. The case against them was provisionally shelved and the men were released. One of accused, Smail Boudjelthia, still lives in the apartment in Banoyles, a small town in north-east Spain, which was raided on the morning of January 25. "Welcome to al-Qaida", he quipped as he opened the door, damaged when masked officers blew it open. Mr Boudjelthia, who was asleep in bed, at first thought there was a fire and the men charging through the door were firefighters. He found himself lying face down on the floor as armed police quizzed him about, among other things, how often he went to the local mosque. "It was very frightening," he said. A few miles away, in the village of Sant Jaume de Llierca, Mohammed Nabbar, his wife and 18-month daughter, Diana, were woken by a similar raid. "They said to me. 'You are very calm Mohammed. You must be the one who gives the orders that the others execute. Is that right?'." Police took away cooking material, cologne bottles and some of Diana's medicines. "They looked everywhere. I said 'take whatever you want'," he explained. Although some of those detained had been involved with Islamist groups in Algeria, none are wanted by Algerian police and all deny any terrorism connection. The raids came after a French judge requested Spanish help in a case against four al-Qaida suspects detained there. One of them, Mr Boudjelthi admits, had stayed at their apartment. "Many Algerians who come through Banyoles stay here. I could not tell you who they all are. Even the local Red Cross brings Algerians to our door if they arrive in town and ask for help," explained Mr Boudjelthia, 31, who has been in Spain for three years. The men thought police would realise their mistake but, instead, they were transferred to the national court in Madrid where terrorism cases are dealt with. A police press release described them as a cell that "provided information and support to other Islamist terror groups, had explosives, used chemical products and had connections with terror cells in Britain and France". It announced scientific tests would be carried out in Spain and the US on the materials found in their apartments. Mobile phones, alarm clocks, television remote controls and the manuals that Mr Nabbar used to learn electronics were presented to press photographers as evidence that they helped plan attacks. A child's toy pistol, not included in the court evidence, was added to the display which appeared in Spanish newspapers. "Even other Muslims, when they saw that pistol, said they believed we must have been terrorists," said Mr Nabbar, 38, a legal immigrant who has lived in Spain for eight years. During a press conference Mr Aznar claimed: "They were preparing to carry out attacks with explosives and chemicals." He said the arrests highlighted "the danger of terrorist groups getting hold of arms of mass destruction". "We are not talking about hypothetical or remote dangers ... we must fight against it if we do not want them to cause major problems to our liberty, security and tranquillity," said Mr Aznar, who had already joined Mr Bush and Tony Blair to press for tough action against Iraq. He went on to claim in the Spanish parliament that the detainees worked for Abu Musa al Zarkawi, an al-Qaida leader who spent time in Iraq. "His collaborators have been picked up recently in Spain and Britain. The problem affects us closely," he warned MPs. At the UN security council on February 5 Mr Powell tried to persuade its members of the links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. The "Spanish cell" appeared on a slide connecting them to Zarkawi and those accused of planning a poison attack on the London tube. Mr Powell also praised a British dossier partially based on academic articles published up to seven years earlier. "They said our 'boss' was in Baghdad to try to make out that al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein were the same thing," said Mr Nabbar. "I thought I was finished, that I would be in jail for 40 years." None of them has dared to return to Algeria. Sebastia Salellas, their lawyer, said France had never asked for them to be extradited. He has applied for compensation, and is suing Mr Aznar for slander. Their cause ran into trouble yesterday when the national court announced it had reopened the case after receiving what El Mundo newspaper's website described as "a report from a US laboratory which affirms the substances found, when combined with other elements, could produce deflagration" . About 60% of Spaniards believe Mr Aznar tried to fool them about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and 68% want Spanish troops brought home, according to a recent poll by the leftwing Cadena Ser radio station. http://www.news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1011132003 * UN WORK SLOWS TO A CRAWL IN IRAQ by BORZOU DARAGAHI The Scotsman, 13th September THE blue flak jacket is heavy and cumbersome, and Roger Guarda frets uncomfortably as he pulls it off. "Itıs hot and Iım choking," grumbles the new head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Baghdad. "But because the UN is now a target in Iraq, we have to wear these things every time we leave the office." Freed of his body armour, he gets down to business. But instead of heading out into the field and surveying the array of UN job programmes, park rehabilitations and electricity generation projects, he stays close to his desk, playing phone tag with colleagues in Jordan and beyond. "The work I used to complete in one day, I now do in four days," he says with dismay. "Since I started this job, all I focus on is security." The foreign ministers of the UN Security Councilıs permanent members convene in Geneva this weekend to discuss United States proposals to expand the role of the UN under the US-led occupation of Iraq. The Bush administration, faced with huge bills for rebuilding and the daunting challenge of securing the California-sized nation, wants more help from the international community and the UN. But in the wake of the 19 August lorry bomb at the UNıs Canal Hotel headquarters -- which killed the UNıs Iraq envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and at least 22 others - giving Iraqis a hand has become a complicated affair. UN officials say safety precautions have begun to hamper their ability to deliver help to local people. Although it vows it will never abandon Iraq, the UN has pulled out nearly 340 of its 400 international staff. UN offices, once friendly and inviting compared to US military bases and quarters of the Coalition Provisional Authority, have become barricaded fortresses surrounded by concrete and security guards. Plainclothes UN security officials, toting machine-guns, have been scouring the homes of UN employees, ordering the few remaining international staff to remain in their hotels at night and turning the once-coveted Baghdad assignment into a virtual house arrest. Several officials said a plan is being considered to move all UN staff out of hotels and into tents on the grounds of the Canal Hotel. UN staffers complain that maintaining contact with and assessing the needs of the Iraqi population, much less delivering services, is much harder. But Mr Guarda, 62, a Belgian of Italian descent, said it was important to keep a presence in Baghdad. "It is important that Iraqis do not feel abandoned. The UN is like a big brother to Iraq. Itıs important that people donıt feel like the big brother is leaving them." UN leaders often say that reducing and constraining international staff will not affect UN operations because the Iraqi staff can do their jobs. But even Iraqi employees say new security rules complicate their tasks. Aziz Ahmad, an Iraqi UNDP engineer, used to hop into two-vehicle convoys and travel from his northern Iraq base in Erbil to the Baghdad office at will. Now, he says, he must find a rare UN flight between the two cities. "The road is regarded as too dangerous," Mr Ahmad says. "Itıs very frustrating because our job is fieldwork." Although it was the most spectacular of attacks against the UN, the still unsolved 19 August bombing was not the first and only time UN or UN-tied organisations have been attacked in Iraq. Assaults against the UNıs distinctive vehicles and installations had already forced more intensive security precautions. But the 19 August attack - unprecedented in its carnage, audacity and impact - was on a wholly different scale. Now, only the most dedicated UN veterans take on an Iraqi assignment. Mr Guarda, a UN globetrotter since he was 24, has worked in Cambodia, Panama, Malaysia, Zaire, Cuba, Burkina Faso and the Palestinian Territories. Although past retirement age, he felt obligated to volunteer for Iraq after his predecessor and friend, Henrik Kolstrup, was seriously wounded in the attack. "I was shocked," said Mr Guarda, who was finishing an assignment in Erbil and about to head to New York. "I love the UN family." A day in the work life of a UN worker has become longer and more dreary. Mr Guarda is spending this particular day setting up a "virtual office" so employees evacuated to Amman and Beirut can speak with those in the Baghdad office and those working from home. "You try to work as if the team was complete, but obviously itıs a lot more complicated," Mr Guarda says. UN involvement in Iraq intensified following the creation of the oil-for-food programme in the late 1990s. The program allowed Iraq, then under the strict sanctions, limited sales of oil to provide revenue for humanitarian needs. Each Iraqi received a food ration. Iraqıs war-damaged infrastructure was patched up, but then the UN evacuated all of its international staff and curtailed operations before the bombing began. UNDP projects launched or resumed since the UNıs return to Baghdad in May include rehabilitation of the power and water infrastructure, reforestation, school reconstruction and rubbish collection. UN projects that do get off the ground can be of huge benefit to the people. In a park in the Adhamiya district of Baghdad, 30 workers pruned weeds and refurbished a statue of Antar Ben Shadat, a poet and pre-Islamic Iraqi hero. Wasif Mohamad, a formerly unemployed blacksmith, is paid just under £5 a day under the programme. "Itıs the most Iıve ever earned," said the young man with dirty, calloused hands. "Itıs helping me put food on my familyıs table." FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS http://star.arabia.com/article/0,5596,301_9225,00.html * CABINET STRESSES CHALABI CASE CRIMINAL NOT POLITICAL by Ghassan Joha The Star, 8th September JORDAN (Star) - This monthıs appointment of Ahmad Chalabi as president of the Iraqi Interim Governing Council (IIGC) was greeted with annoyance and disapproval in Jordan. Some regarded the selection of the Iraqi businessman-turned-politician as a political "maneuver" to weaken chances for his extradition to Jordan to stand for trial. Chalabi is most-wanted by the Jordanian authorities on charges of embezzlement, fraud and misuse of trust for his part in the Petra Bank scandal during the late 1980s. In 1992, Chalabi, who was chairman of the bank from 1982 to 1989, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in absentia by the State Security Court. He was charged of committing a series of illegal financial transactions that led to the bankıs bankruptcy and dissolution in 1990. The 58-year-old was accused of stealing more than $500 million while he was chairman of the bank. Five of Chalabiıs relatives, including his four brothers, were also convicted for being solicitors in the affair. Thirteen years now and Petra Bankıs case still remains unsolved, as many of the convicted criminals stay at large. The Lower House resurrected the case weeks ago in a move regarded by the observers as "significant to seal off one of the most controversial financial scandals in Jordanıs history." Chalabi is the co-founder of Petra Bank in 1977 and was accused of being involved in funding deals with Iran and Iraq, through false financial transactions with associate banks in Switzerland and Lebanon. After the bankıs collapse Chalabi fled the country in mysterious circumstances and moved to the United States. Deputies asked the government in August to issue a subpoena for Chalabi without delay. About one-third of the deputies, including members of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), have requested the House Speaker Saad Hayel Srour to fix a date for a special session to discuss the case openly with the government. Prime Minister Ali Abul Ragheb reiterated the governmentıs stand to bring Chalabi to justice in Jordan. He said last week that the Petra Bankıs affair is a top priority for the government and will renew its request for the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to extradite Chalabi to Jordan. Interpol has rejected a previous Jordanian request for a warrant to arrest Chalabi in May, citing that Chalabi was convicted in a State Security Court, rather than in a civilian court. The government pledged to retry Chalabi in a civilian court, a right that is preserved by the Constitution. Deputy Mahmoud Kharabsheh, head of the Legal Committee at the Lower House, denied the Interpolıs allegations and said that all the verdicts that were issued against Chalabi are legal and confined by the Constitution. In addition, some civil courtsı rulings were issued against Chalabi duringand afterthe bankıs liquidation. Kharabsheh justified the deputiesı petition, "to make a comprehensive review of the latest developments in the affair and its longstanding ramifications on the local economy." Kharabsheh told The Star that no date is fixed yet for the session to discuss the Petra Bankıs case, but noted that it could be before the end of September, when the current extraordinary session of the Lower House closes. The deputy, however, maintained that the issue could be postponed until further notice. "The affair is very serious and must be discussed thoroughly by the government and the Lower House," he said. However, Kharabsheh acknowledged that a new trial for Chalabi in Jordan would take some time to be achieved. "It all depends on how the American authority in Iraq would deal with the issue," the deputy said while advising his fellow deputies to send messages to the US Congress clearing Jordanıs position. Deputy Khalil Attyeh mentioned during Wednesdayıs Lower House session that the Jordanian-American mutual extradition treaty allows Jordan to ask for Chalabi to be handed over since he is not a US citizen. The deputy asked the government to actively adhere to the treaty and submit a request to the US authorities. Observers and economists agree that Chalabiıs alliance with the Americans would make it difficult for Jordan to extradite himfor the time being at least. When the scandal first surfaced in 1989, Mohammad Said Al Nabulsi was the governor of the Central Bank of Jordan. Nabulsi supervised thorough investigations and inquiries into the matter. He believes that Chalabi knew what he was doing then. "I believe Chalabi was preparing for the whole affair long time ago, before it was made public in 1989," Nabulsi told The Star. The investigations in the Petra Bankıs finances and Chalabiıs improprieties took more than three years of inspections and analysis. Both Kharabsheh and Nabulsi rebuff allegations made by Chalabi and American officials suggesting that the charges against the IIGC member were politically motivated. "We are talking here about a half billion dollars lost. This is not political. It is a totally economic crime," Nabulsi explained. "The Iraqis know exactly who is Chalabi and the majority of them agree that he is a dirty man," he added. What solidify Jordanıs position against Chalabi are his connections to other financial scandals in many parts of the globe. In January 2002, the US State Department suspended funding to Chalabiıs Iraqi National Congress party, for lacking financial management and internal weaknesses. Chalabiıs brothers, Jawad and Hazem, have been convicted by the Swiss authorities in 1989 of false accounting in connection with the collapse of Socofi, an investment firm that was part of Chalabiıs international financial empire. The Swiss federal banking commission in April 1989 also cracked down a Geneva-based bank, Mebco, which was under Chalabiıs authority. "He was given an authority by the Americans, and by virtue of that power he is able to politicize the affair to serve his interests," Al Nabulsi pointed out. He is sure that Chalabiıs chances to run away from justice are slim, but doubts that he will stand for trial in Jordan anytime soon. If Chalabi is brought to Jordan and given a retrial, he might be released according to the Economic Crimes Law, which was amended in April. The amendments made it possible for the government to reach a legal settlement with people like Chalabi, allowing them to repay the stolen money and pardon him in return. Abul Ragheb has denied that the amendments were made for Chalabiıs case. He said that the two situations are not related. Nabulsi, however, thinks that the only way for Chalabi is "to prove that he is not guilty, something which I truly doubt." http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/international/ap_muja09112003.htm * IRANIAN REBELS IN IRAQ "CONTAINED" - U.S. MILITARY Boston Herald, from Reuters, 11th September BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military said on Thursday it was holding 3,800 Iranian rebel detainees in eastern Iraq and denied that the People's Mujahideen was still mounting cross border raids into Iran. "Are they continuing to enter Iran? I can guarantee you that is not happening. They are contained," Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, told a news conference in Baghdad. He was responding to a report in the Washington Post newspaper that the U.S. military may be turning a blind eye to renewed activity by the Iranian opposition group that is on the State Department's list of "terrorist" groups. The Post quoted State Department officials saying they suspected the Pentagon was allowing the group to retain its weapons, move in and out of camps at will, broadcast propaganda and cross into Iran to conduct attacks. Sanchez said: "There is no problem with the MEK that we are having today." The People's Mujahideen, or MEK, was allowed to operate on Iraqi soil by Saddam Hussein's anti-Iranian government but was forced to surrender to the U.S. military after the March invasion of Iraq. Giving the first official figure for the number of MEK fighters being held, Sanchez said the roughly 3,800 detainees had been "separated from their weapons systems" and were undergoing "screening" to determine their "defined end state." He gave no further clues to their future fate. Five hundred soldiers are guarding them at a base in Ashraf, he said. Their weapons -- including tanks, rocket launchers and artillery guns -- are at another base in the desert. "CUSHY ARRANGEMENT FOR TERRORISTS" He said he knew nothing of other Mujahideen fighters based in Iraq. Some reports put MEK numbers far higher than 3,800. But he said guarding the long Iran-Iraq border was a vast task only really possible with something like a Berlin Wall. Tehran has demanded that MEK members be extradited. Security analysts have speculated that Iran may be willing to swap some of its al Qaeda detainees for MEK leaders. At the start of the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam, the U.S. military bombed the Mujahideen but agreed a cease-fire after Baghdad fell in April, on condition the rebels withdrew into their bases in "non-combat" positions. The MEK are classed as "detainees" not prisoners of war. The group still has offices in major cities across the world and says it has an underground network of members in Iran. But its fighters and weaponry were based in Iraq. For years, Saddam helped the Mujahideen fight his regional foe, Iran, which itself is no friend of the United States. But after the invasion, Washington was determined to clear Iraq of any independent fighting forces, even its enemy's enemy. Prior to then, the Mujahideen had said they were clashing daily with Iranian-backed forces in the northeast of Iraq. Some Washington hardliners back the Mujahideen, despite its position on the "terrorist" list, as allies against Iran which President Bush had branded part of an "axis of evil" with Saddam's Iraq and North Korea. NO URL * MUJAHEDEEN READY TO HARASS US, KURDS AND TEHRAN Jordan Times 14th September JALAWLA, Iraq (AFP) Splinter elements within the People's Mujahedeen have taken to the rugged mountains separating Iran and Iraq, and were preparing to wage attacks against US troops, ethnic Kurds and Tehran, local officials and military sources said. But US commanders and local sources insist their capabilities are limited after the bulk of Mujahedeen, also known by its Persian name Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), hatched a deal with coalition authorities and withdrew to nearby Camp Ashraf in April. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Cantwell, commandant of Camp Ashraf, said the 4,000 MEK members in the former Mujahedeen base were consolidated, detained, disarmed and were being screened for any past terrorist acts. "All vehicles, arms and ammunition is under coalition control, they do not even carry a bayonet," Cantwell, a Battalion Commander with the 324 Military Police, said. The MEK has been classified by Washington as a terrorist outfit but Cantwell said this did not mean that each member of the MEK was a terrorist, hence the screening process to determine each individual's legal status. "It's about restraint of the use of force and compliance with the Geneva Conventions, we're especially trained in that, and that's why we're here," Cantwell said. He said the screening process and heavy restrictions on movement was taking a toll on the Mujahedeen, who are only allowed routine shopping trips into the town of Khalis under a heavy military escort. "There's nothing here that's cushy and there is a fair degree of anxiety among them about their future," he told AFP. The MEK was a well-armed, secular fighting force that with backing from Saddam Hussein had continued a guerrilla insurgency against the hardline Islamic government in Tehran since the Iran-Iran war ended in 1988. Their equipment included British Chieftain and Russian T-55 tanks. One military source said the MEK had initially fled its bases along the Iranian border in southern Iraq as the United States was preparing to launch its March 20 invasion of Iraq from Kuwait. The source, and members of the local branch of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the main political parties in the area, said about 5,000 rebels then converged on the two bases near Jalawla about 30 kilometres west of the Iranian border in late March. Those bases are now empty of rebels, occupied solely by looters and scrap metal merchants who moved in after the Mujahedeen shifted to Camp Ashraf. Deputy chief of the PUK branch in nearby Saadhiyah, Abdul Al Karim Mahmoud, said the Americans began bombing the bases at about the same time as Saddam was being ousted from power on April 9. "But the bombings were designed to frighten the MEK, not kill them, and then there were long negotiations with the Americans and the MEK," he said. He said eventually a deal was hammered out and most of the MEK agreed to relocate to Camp Ashraf but more than 1,000 of the rebels refused to move, kept their arms and headed into the mountains. "Now they are fighting the Americans, the Kurds and the Iranians," he said. "The PUK were against Saddam, the Mujahedeen were with Saddam and they fought against the Kurds in the 1991 uprising. They refused to make peace with us so now they are fighting against the Americans and the PUK," he said. The military source, a senior officer based in the area, agreed. "They had for a long time operated camps in southern Iraq, then pulled up to the border area to the north and west of Baghdad before the US began its invasion," he said. He said all the camps in the south, like those in Jalawla, and near Baghdad were empty and looted, except for Camp Ashraf which sits about 100 kilometres west of the Iranian border and 60 kilometres north of Baghdad. There are some rebels still out there "but there is no way of telling exactly how many," he said. Washington announced on April 22 it had reached a ceasefire with the MEK and the following day Mujahedeen officials said the agreement allowed the MEK to keep its weapons and carry on its activities in Iran from Camp Ashraf. But Cantwell said any such claims were non-existent by June when troops from the 324 Military Police took control of Camp Ahraf and the MEK was consolidated and "all weapons secured by MPs." He declined to comment on current MEK strength or any operations the rebels could conduct against the Americans, Iranian-government forces or the PUK. "But I will say a substantial number have agreed to consolidate in one camp," he said, "at Camp Ashraf." http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&ncid=736&e=1&u=/ap/20030 913/ap_on_re_mi_ea/turkey_us_iraq * TURKEY, U.S. OK PLAN ON KURDISH REBELS by SELCAN HACAOGLU, Associated Press Writer Yahoo, 14th September ANKARA, Turkey - The United States and Turkey agreed Friday on "a joint plan of action" regarding Turkish Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq (news - web sites), U.S. officials said. Turkey, NATO (news - web sites)'s only Muslim member, is considering a request by Washington to send peacekeepers to neighboring Iraq, but wants help in dealing with an estimated 5,000 rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, that are based in northern Iraq. A U.S. team headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State B. Lynn Pascoe met with Turkish government, military and intelligence officials in Ankara Friday to discuss cooperation on the issue of Kurdish rebels, who fought a 15-year war for autonomy in southeastern Turkey. After the talks, Pascoe told reporters that Turkey and the United States had agreed on a "a joint plan of action," but provided no details. "We're very sympathetic with the problems that Turkey has had on this issue," Pascoe said. The State Department has branded the PKK, which now calls itself KADEK, as a terrorist organization. The possible deployment of peacekeepers is deeply controversial in Turkey. A recent poll indicated that a majority of Turks oppose the move. Turkish officials have said that a U.N. resolution backing the deployment of foreign troops in Iraq would make the Turkish deployment easier. http://www.jordantimes.com/Mon/homenews/homenews3.htm * MPS CONDEMN US ATTACK ON JORDANIAN HOSPITAL IN IRAQ by Dina Al Wakeel Jordan Times, 15th September AMMAN Lower House deputies on Sunday condemned the attack on the Jordanian military hospital in Iraq that left one dead, while some MPs called upon the US government to compensate the deceased's family with at least $10 million. IAF Deputy Zuhair Abul Ragheb (Amman, 3rd District) said the attack was ³not a mistake or caused by friendly fire ... It was done on purpose!² Abul Ragheb called on the government to hold American troops responsible for the attack and to ask for no less than $10 million in compensation for the family of Sergeant Omar Ahmad Asfour. ³Jordanian blood is not worth less than that of Americans,² he exclaimed. Reuters reported that Asfour was killed along with eight US-trained Iraqi policeman by US troops, who said they mistook the group for rebels in an area considered a hotspot for resistance to the occupation. The Jordanian hospital was badly damaged in the incident, its walls peppered with bullet holes, said the news agency. Four other Jordanian workers were also injured in the attack. Deputy Prime Minister Faris Nabulsi pointed out that the government was positive the Asfour's death was ³unintentional,² assuring the House that the incident would not deter the Kingdom from its continuing support for the Iraqi people to reconstruct their nation. According to Nabulsi, initial reports showed that the hospital was attacked by armed Iraqis and that Jordanian guards responded. Simultaneously, American and some other Iraqi troops also became engaged in the battle, resulting in chaos and confusion. Relaying the apology Jordan received from the US, Nabulsi said US Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher Friday to express his government's ³regret² over the incident. Deputy Insaf Khawaldeh (Tafileh) spoke on behalf of all women parliamentarians, saying the attack should prompt a reevaluation of the whole situation in order to provide the hospital's staff greater protection. Then, speaking on behalf of the National Action Front, Khawaldeh slammed the Jordan Bar Association's decision to stop new graduates from training and to prevent those that had already paid dues from joining the association. The deputy, who made reference to 450 graduates, said it was a constitutional right for these graduates to train, as the association suggestion for the establishment of a training institution had yet to be realised. Meanwhile, other MPs urged the government to accelerate procedures to find the arsonist behind a fire that destroyed some 4,100 trees in Jerash. Later, Health Minister Hakem Qadi answered deputy queries regarding the nursing shortage in the Kingdom, pointing out that the level of nursing here had led to an increase demand on Jordanian nurses abroad. Last year, he explained, 511 nurses were appointed at the ministry but 367 declined nearly 72 per cent, while many others left soon after employ due to low salaries. Qadi said a special committee was formed to look into the salaries of ministry workers that would submit recommendations to the Cabinet. Temporary law activity After a long debate, MPs decided to postpone discussions on the King Abdullah Fund temporary law, as neither the government nor the labour and social development committee that reviewed the law could decide whether the fund was governmental or non governmental. The nonprofit body was formed to initiate productive projects upgrading citizens' standard of living, as well as to provide information technology training by establishing centres towards that end. The Lower House also passed two temporary laws. One an amended highway law and another a piece of narcotics legislation that came with some alterations. http://www.iraqgroup.net/ * OCCUPIED IRAQ AND OPEC CONFERENCE MEETINGS by Dr Fadhil J Chalabi (MEES) MEES, Vol XLVI, no 37, 15th September Dr Fadhil J Chalabi is Executive Director, Centre for Global Energy Studies, London. Since Iraq has been under occupation by the coalition forces, its right to attend OPEC Conference meetings has been questioned by OPEC spokesmen on the grounds that the country lacks a legitimate, internationally recognized government. For this reason, Iraq was excluded from the last OPEC meeting. According to current OPEC interpretation, the conference meetings ought to be attended only by member countries' legitimately elected ministers or their deputies. The recent formation of Iraq's governing council and the interim government did not change OPEC's position vis-à-vis Iraq, but it has recently emphasized that once the UN recognizes Iraq's present interim government, then Iraq may resume its attendance of OPEC conference meetings. In other words, Iraq's OPEC membership, meanwhile, has been de facto suspended, and Iraq's recently designated oil minister is not considered politically qualified to attend so long as the UN does not recognize Iraq's government. However, this stance towards Iraq is unjustified if we examine the nature of OPEC, its history, its statutes and, above all, its long-term interests. When OPEC was founded in Baghdad in September 1960, its entire raison d'être was to defend its members' interests in confronting the international oil companies' actions in unilaterally imposing two successive cuts in the then 'posted price' which was, at the time, the tax reference determining government revenues. OPEC was never intended to be a political organization representing sovereign states enjoying international, political recognition. In essence, OPEC is an economic group of commodity (oil) exporters and its formation was similar to that of many primary commodity agreements designed by producer-exporters collaborating simply to defend their own interests in international trade and to take action against price volatility of their commodities. In fact, many primary commodity agreements (involving coffee, copper, diamonds, etc) have been concluded in the past without great success. In the case of OPEC, its success has been derived from the importance of oil in the world economy, as well as oil's fundamental importance in the economies of the producers themselves. In fact, in 1961, when OPEC sought to establish its headquarters in Geneva, it was its non political and purely economic nature that proved an obstacle deterring the Swiss authorities from granting the organization international status with diplomatic immunity. They declared that OPEC was not an international organization serving any political end, but a group of commodity exporters that should be treated commercially. For this reason OPEC moved to Vienna, Austria, where chancellor Bruno Kreisky agreed to confer diplomatic status on the organization. At that time, the far-sighted chancellor's policy was to open the Austrian capital up to more inter-regional and international activity and investment, in order to place Vienna firmly on the international scene. Many UN agencies were transferred to Vienna for the same reason. Furthermore, OPEC's history shows clearly that its own membership is not contingent upon state sovereignty or UN membership or any obligation for a member country to be internationally recognized. In fact, OPEC Resolution 1.2, para. 3, states: "Any country with substantial exports of crude petroleum can become a member". The word "country" is reiterated in OPEC resolutions without any qualification, the sole criteria for the member country being its production and export of oil and not whether or not it is a sovereign state, or temporarily colonized, or under a foreign mandate, or, for that matter, under occupation. This is confirmed by OPEC's own history, and this fact could not have been made more apparent than at the time of OPEC's inception in Baghdad in September 1960, when Kuwait, itself a founding member of OPEC, was not recognized internationally as a sovereign state, and remained a British protectorate until late 1961, a year after the formation of OPEC. Indeed, the Kuwaiti representative at the time, Ahmad Sa'id 'Umar, was not a minister but simply the chairman of the Kuwait National Oil Company, dealing not with exports of crude oil but refined products. Kuwait was neither an Arab League member nor a member of any international organization, such as the UN &endash; to which it gained admission on 14 May 1963, after gaining independence in late 1961. Qatar joined OPEC in 1961 without being an independent, internationally recognized, sovereign state. Its representative was Hasan Kamil, the Egyptian advisor to the Emir. Qatar did not proclaim its independence until 1971 and was admitted to the UN on 21 September 1971. Similarly, when Abu Dhabi joined OPEC in 1968 it was neither a sovereign state nor a member of the UN. At that time Abu Dhabi was represented by an Iraqi advisor to Shaikh Zayid, Dr Nadim Pachachi, who, in January 1971, was appointed Secretary-General of OPEC on behalf of Abu Dhabi 11 months before that country even became an independent sovereign state on 2 December 1971, joining the UN on 9 December 1971. In fact, since its inception, OPEC has never been intended as a political instrument. Even the measures taken in October 1973, to limit oil production as an instrument of political pressure during the war between Egypt and Israel, were taken not in the name of OPEC but by Arab oil ministers who met in their official and national capacity, not even as members of OAPEC (in whose Kuwait headquarters their meeting was held to take that crucial decision). Therefore neither the status nor the history of OPEC gives any precedence, legally speaking, for the exclusion of Iraq from OPEC conference meetings on the grounds that it is not internationally recognized. Even more important than the question of legality is the fact that the prevention of Iraq's attendance of OPEC conference meetings is neither in OPEC's nor Iraq's interests. It may take years for Iraq to acquire its so-called legitimate government in the fullest sense of being democratically elected. The question meanwhile is whether OPEC's attitude towards Iraq is in the organization's own interests. Iraq has such enormous oil potential that, if the country is excluded from OPEC, the future development of Iraqi oil reserves will present a problem that OPEC can ill afford to ignore and can only resolve with Iraq's cooperation. OPEC's attitude runs the risk of encouraging certain voices within Iraq, clamoring to leave the organization in order to feel free to produce as much oil as possible without the production restrictions imposed by OPEC's archaic quota system. Iraq is not only a major oil producer but it was Iraq that took the initiative in the formation of OPEC in Baghdad in September 1960. Therefore, it is both historically speaking just and in OPEC's long-term interests to keep Iraq in the organization's 'family fold'. _______________________________________________ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk