Oman asked the UN Security Council Saturday to lift economic sanctions imposed 10 years ago against Iraq to reduce the suffering of the Iraqi people.
Oman's minister responsible for foreign affairs Minister Youssef ben Alaoui said: "The general situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate as a result of the economic embargo imposed for the last 10 years.
"Therefore, we cannot now but call for the establishment of a mechanism to end the siege and to lift the embargo, which doubtlessly has done great harm to the people of Iraq," ben Alaoui told the UN General Assembly.
The conservative Gulf sultanate of Oman has maintained good relations with Iraq even during the Gulf crisis. It has an embassy in Baghdad.
The UN sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, after its invasion of Kuwait.
Resolution 1284, which was adopted by the Security Council in December 1999, offered to suspend the 10-year-old sanctions regime if Iraq cooperates fully with a new body of UN arms inspectors.
Baghdad has announced that it has no intention of cooperating with the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), set up pursuant to the resolution.
The Omani minister, however, indicated that UN arms inspectors had overseen the elimination by Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.
"We call on the Security Council to adopt new policies and effective mechanisms that will relieve the suffering imposed on states such as Iraq, Libya and the Sudan," he said, adding that the measures would come "alongside the lifting of economic sanctions." – UNITED NATIONS (AFP)
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