Chinese exports to Iraq amount to $2 billion
China has exported more than two billion dollars worth of goods to sanctions-hit Iraq since a UN humanitarian program was launched four years ago, Iraqi Commerce Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said Monday.
The minister, quoted by the official news agency INA, said China was ranked in third place among countries supplying Iraq, after France and Egypt, under the program launched in December 1996.
Following a visit by a Chinese government delegation which flew in to Baghdad last Friday, Saleh stressed that Iraq wanted to further "boost commercial and economic relations" with Beijing.
China became the third permanent member of the UN Security Council, following Russia and France, to send a plane to Baghdad in defiance of the UN's decade-long air embargo on Iraq.
Iraq, which has been under sweeping sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, is authorized to export crude under UN control to finance imports of food, medicine and other essential goods for its 22 million population. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)