Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz on Monday received former UN aid coordinator in Iraq, Hans von Sponeck, whom he praised for calling for the 10-year embargo on Baghdad to be lifted.
Aziz "praised the honorable positions of von Sponeck during his presence in Iraq as humanitarian coordinator, which reflected faithfully the suffering due to the embargo," the official INA news agency said.
Aziz also "expressed his recognition of von Sponeck's efforts since his resignation to explain the situation in Iraq."
INA quoted von Sponeck saying the "international community was more aware of the impact of the sanctions. Efforts are deployed by several organizations to mobilise international public opinion against the embargo."
Von Sponeck resigned and left his post at the end of March to protest the "humanitarian tragedy" in sanctions-hit Iraq. He was replaced by Tun Myat, of Myanmar.
Von Sponeck had been criticized by the United States for being too soft on Iraq. His predecessor, Denis Halliday, resigned in September 1998 in a similar protest.
Iraq has been under an embargo since it invaded Kuwait in 1990 – BAGHDAD (AFP)
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