Britain, Russia Advance Competing Resolutions on Iraq’s Sanctions
Britain and Russia are advancing competing resolutions on how the UN Security Council should proceed with sanctions against Iraq, said reports.
The rival proposals could divide the five permanent members of the council on whether to overhaul the sanctions regime against the oil-rich, but devastated, nation, reported the BBC.online Wednesday.
The UK plan, which has the backing of the United States, proposes allowing all civilian goods into the country, while tightening restrictions on military items and strengthening anti-smuggling measures.
Russia, meanwhile, advocated keeping in place the current sanctions, which are due for re-examination by June 4, said the news service.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Monday rejected the UK's so-called "smart sanctions," insisting that all controls be dropped.
The US and UK are hoping to push the Security Council to consider the 30-page UK resolution by the end of the month.
Under the oil-for-food program, Iraq is allowing to sell limited amounts of oil. The money goes into a UN-controlled escrow account and can be used to purchase food, medicine, and humanitarian goods.
The UK proposal would keep the escrow account in place and use some of the revenues to pay Iraq's UN dues.
The money would also be used to bolster anti-smuggling controls.
The Iraqi leader was quoted by the official INA news agency as telling a cabinet meeting that he would "reject the so-called 'smart sanctions,' which are more stupid than the (current) sanctions."
The sanctions "have failed, but what is the alternative? The alternative ... is for the sanctions to be lifted," Saddam Hussein was quoted as saying.
The Iraqi president said that by pushing for "smart sanctions," the US was admitting the failure of the sanctions regime.
"Although [the sanctions] have hurt Iraq, at the same time it cost America dearly in terms of its international reputation...and it lost its good relations with the Arab people."
The UK proposal would allow Iraq to buy civilian goods without letting the weapons inspectors back – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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