Iraq Praises Russia for Opposing Smart Sanctions
Iraq praised Russia on Monday for opposing the US-backed British "smart sanctions" proposal and expressed its desire to boost bilateral cooperation, said reports.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz told Russian emissary Nikolai Kartuzov of "Baghdad's desire to boost cooperation with Russia ... (which) lined up on the side of justice" against the proposal to revamp the sanctions regime, AFP said.
Kartuzov arrived in Baghdad on Sunday on a surprise visit for talks with top Iraqi officials on boosting Russian efforts to support Baghdad's desire to end decade-old UN economic sanctions imposed after the 1990 Gulf War, said the official Iraqi News Agency (INA).
He gave Aziz a message from Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov focusing on the UN deliberations over the draft resolution for a retooled embargo.
On July 4, the UN Security Council extended the oil-for-food deal for five months after shelving plans to impose the revised sanctions due to Russian opposition.
Iraq said Sunday it would give priority to Russia, among others, in import contracts under the UN oil-for-food program for its support at the United Nations.
Iraq has been under embargo since it invaded Kuwait in 1990 but has been authorized since December 1996 to export oil under UN supervision to finance imports of essential goods for its 22 million population – Albawaba.com
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