Iraqi President Calls on Russia to Veto ‘Smart Sanctions’
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein repeated Thursday a plea to Russia to block the adoption of revised UN "smart sanctions" against his country, said reports.
"Our position (rejecting a draft British resolution) is a definitive one, which is why we are asking Russia to intervene to block" its adoption, Saddam told visiting Russian Civil Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, according to AFP.
"We refuse to deal with any resolution containing American or British ideas," Saddam said. "Iraq cannot accept this game and neither can any Iraqi patriot."
“Some observers think that there could be a hidden flexibility in Iraq's stance toward the smart sanctions," Hussein said, adding: "This is our final stance."
"When we declare our position, we do it clearly and comprehensively," he said. "We will not deal with the resolution containing the general outlines of the smart sanctions proposal."
Hussein's remarks came less than a week after Iraq halted most of its oil exports, stopping the flow Monday to all but neighboring Turkey and Jordan. The indefinite halt was meant to protest against a UN Security Council decision to extend by one month, instead of the usual six months, the oil-for-food program.
Russia favors a lifting of sanctions imposed on Iraq following its 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait.
Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan and Syria have also called for a complete lifting of the embargo.
Britain, with US backing, has put forward a draft resolution that would abolish the embargo on civilian trade with Iraq, while tightening a weapons ban and controls on smuggling outside the oil-for-food deal – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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