Iraq calls on China to reject '\'smart'\' sanctions
Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Rashid called on China Friday, July 13, to rally behind Iraq and reject a US-backed British proposal for "smart" sanctions.
"We urge China to adopt an active position in the UN Security Council and oppose the evil US-British proposal aimed at reinforcing the embargo on Iraq," Rashid told the official INA news agency.
Rashid, who was talking at the end of the 11th joint Chinese-Iraqi cooperation commission in Beijing, said the proposal to revamp the sanctions regime was also aimed at "blocking the opening up of Iraq to other countries, including China."
Iraq "wanted to reactivate contracts sealed with China under the oil-for-food program and boost bilateral trade and economic cooperation," he added.
The official Babel newspaper warned Monday that Baghdad might not honor contracts worth more than $80 million sealed with China, which the Washington Post said the United States unfroze in June as it sought Beijing's support in the UN Security Council to reform Iraqi sanctions.
Russia was the only one of the five permanent Security Council members to voice opposition to the proposal, on which a July 3 vote was shelved after Moscow threatened to use its veto. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)