King Abdullah II of Jordan called for a lifting of sanctions on Iraq and for a quick settlement of differences between Iraq and Kuwait, in an interview published Wednesday, April 11, in the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat .
"The time has come to lift the sanctions imposed on Iraq and end the outstanding problems between Baghdad and Kuwait," the Jordanian monarch told Al-Hayat during his visit to Washington.
The United States and Jordan agreed last week to hold expert-level talks on US proposals to modify the UN sanctions on Iraq, particularly easing those on goods for civilians and tightening those on military shipments.
Among changes proposed by the United States are measures to encourage Iraq's neighbors, including Jordan, to end smuggling to Iraq and set up monitoring posts on the borders.
"Beyond the Iraqi people's suffering because of the embargo, there are also very important questions for Kuwait like security, prisoners and the missing," the king told Al-Hayat , a Saudi-owned newspaper published in London. These problems "must be settled," King Abdullah said.
He said any approach to the Iraqi problem must have the goal of "overcoming the crisis, through dialogue between Iraq and the United Nations on the Security Council resolutions."
He praised the Arab summit, which he hosted in Amman from March 27-28, as opening "for the first time the files on the Iraqi-Kuwait situation."
The Arab summit gave King Abdullah II the task of beginning consultations with Arab leaders and the Arab League and to make the necessary contacts to study relations between Iraq and Kuwait. — (AFP, Cairo)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )