Hyundai faces Iraqi boycott
The South Korean firm Hyundai faces a blanket boycott in Iraq if it did not pay back the UN's award of almost $30 million in damages for the 1991 Gulf War, an Iraqi newspaper warned Tuesday.
"Hyundai has put itself at risk of a total boycott in Iraq and will be obliged, one day, to pay back the compensation, with interest," Al-Iqtisadi said.
The UNCC on January 25 awarded compensation of $29.37 million to Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. (HEC) for its losses from the Gulf War sparked by Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The compensation funds come from UN-controlled Iraqi oil exports.
Babel, a daily run by President Saddam Hussein's elder son, Uday, said Sunday that "force majeure" clauses in commercial and industrial contracts exempted parties from their commitments or the right to demand compensation.
"Although it was aware that the damage resulted from a case of force majeure, Hyundai has received the sum decided by the UNCC without the issue being negotiated with Iraq," the official newspaper said.
Before the Gulf conflict, HEC was involved in several projects in the Gulf, such as building roads in Kuwait and a naval base in Iraq.
Debt-ridden HEC said last week that the money from Iraq was the last installment of $34.38 million that the UN had set as compensation for the firm's losses.
The latest payments from the Geneva-based UNCC raised to $11 billion the amount of compensation paid to individuals, companies, countries and international organizations since the conflict. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)