Iraq to reconsider oil projects with France
Iraq is to reconsider its oil projects with Paris in retaliation for the French stand on "smart" sanctions, the deputy speaker of parliament said Saturday, July 21.
"Iraq will reconsider commercial and oil transactions with France, which will no longer be given priority" in trade, said Hamid al-Rawi, quoted in Al-Ittihad newspaper.
He said preference would go to Russian companies and paid tribute to the Russian lower house of parliament's call for a lifting of the embargo in force since Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
Iraq has been warning that French companies will pay the price for France's backing for US and British efforts to impose smart sanctions on Baghdad.
Russia was the only UN Security Council permanent member to voice opposition to the retooled sanctions, on which a vote was shelved in early July after Moscow threatened to use its veto.
Baghdad has signed letters of intent with the French groups Elf and Total, a Russian consortium led by Lukoil and China National Oil Company to develop Iraqi oilfields.
Launch of the projects must await the lifting of the embargo. –(AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)