Iraq again rejects US push for UN '\'smart'\' sanctions
Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said Monday, September 10, that Baghdad remains opposed to any revised regime of sanctions slapped on the country 11 years ago after its invasion of Kuwait. "US efforts in the UN Security Council, which has become simply a tool of the Americans, to impose (the so-called 'smart' sanctions) are destined to fail," he told reporters in Baghdad.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Monday he was ready to resume talks with Iraq on the lifting of the UN's sanctions regime if Baghdad presented new proposals. "If the Iraqi foreign minister were to come with some suggestions and proposals, obviously I am prepared to discuss with him and sit down with him," Annan told reporters in New York.
Iraq's newly appointed foreign minister, Naji Sabri, is expected to attend the annual general debate of the United Nations General Assembly which begins on September 24, and is scheduled to speak on October 3.
Sabri will be the first senior Iraqi official to visit UN headquarters since February 26, when Muhammad Said Al-Sahhaf, then foreign minister, met Annan to discuss the stalemate over sanctions. A US-backed British proposal to overhaul the sanctions regime was shelved by the council in early July due to Russian opposition. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
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