Report: Syria turns down US request regarding Iraqi funds
In quiet negotiations, the United States has been trying to have Syria return some 250 million dollars in Iraqi funds, but has so far been rebuffed, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The funds, deposited in the state-owned commercial bank of Syria, are part of billions of dollars former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein stashed outside his country between the first Gulf war in 1991, and the last one this year, US officials said.
According to the report, Damascus acknowledges the funds exist, but maintains they should first be used to pay off debts the Iraqi government ran up with private Syrian companies.
According to Syria's charge d'affaires in Washington, Imad Moustafa, US officials agree the Syrian claims should be settled before the money is returned to Iraq.
However, the daily said US officials maintain the funds should be returned immediately. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)