$1.2 billion worth of oil equipment delivered to Iraq: UN official
Iraq has placed orders for $1.8 billion worth of oil-related equipment over the past five years, two-thirds of which have been delivered, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq said Saturday, Deecember 8.
Iraq has taken delivery of oil-related equipment worth around $1.2 billion, while equipment worth about $500 million "is still on hold," Tun Myat told a news conference on his return from New York, where he took part in deliberations on the extension of Iraq's "oil-for-food" program with the UN.
The program, which went into effect in December 1996, allows Iraq to sell oil under UN supervision to meet the humanitarian needs of its people, who have been hard hit by the sanctions imposed on the country since Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Myat said that by the end of November, Iraq had exported $49.45 billion worth of oil within the framework of the program, whose 11th six-month phase began on December 1, and he praised the "initiative and courage" shown by Iraqi engineers to keep up production levels.
Iraq is exporting around 2.2 million barrels of oil a day from its Gulf port of Mina Al-Bakr and the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, the only export outlets authorized under the sanctions regime. The UN official said a total of $30.5 billion worth of contracts had been approved by the UN sanctions committee since the "oil-for-food" arrangement took effect.
Supplies worth $16.5 billion purchased under these contracts had reached Iraq, while other contracts were in the process of being executed, he said. Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh on Wednesday accused the UN sanctions committee of blocking six billion dollars worth of contracts concluded within the framework of "oil-for-food."
But Myat put at $4.3 billion the value of contracts held up in the sanctions committee "for various, including technical, reasons." Baghdad regularly accuses US and British representatives on the committee of blocking contracts for imports into Iraq. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)