Malaysia sends medical mission to Iraq, backs sanctions' removal
Malaysia on Wednesday, June 13, sent a medical mission to Iraq and reiterated its support for decade-old UN sanctions on Baghdad to be lifted. The mission ― dubbed the "peace and friendship flight" ― is led by Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar.
The three-day trip follows a visit to Iraq last year by Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, the wife of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. It includes a team of doctors, government officials and activists, and carries with it medical supplies worth several thousand dollars, said Syed Hamid.
"This is another clear indication that we do not tolerate the suffering of the old, the sick and the children," he said. "We hope the UN Security Council will take all measures possible to lift the sanctions."
Iraq's ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, Adnan Malik al-Ghazali, on Monday said the Iraqi health system could not meet medical needs because of United Nations sanctions. He said a number of sick Iraqi children would be brought to Malaysia soon for medical treatment and reiterated that Baghdad would never give in to pressure from Western countries for continued sanctions.
Britain, with US backing, has put forward a draft Security Council resolution that would abolish the embargo on civilian trade with Iraq. The resolution would tighten a ban on weapons and controls on smuggling outside a UN oil-for-food deal.
Iraq vowed Sunday to reject any new sanctions resolution and to keep UN-supervised oil exports off the world market. ― (AFP, Kuala Lumpur)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)