The French group Alcatel is to install a telecommunications station in Iraq next year in a UN-approved contract worth seven million dollars, an official newspaper said Sunday.
Al-Ittihad said the 75-channel station would improve Iraq's international lines. The contract is the first in a series of seven accords with Alcatel and one signed with another French group, Sagem, costing a total of $77 million.
A UN official, meanwhile, said $120 million worth of telecoms contracts had been approved under the eighth phase of the oil-for-food program, which allows sanctions-hit Iraq to export crude in return for essential goods.
The UN sanctions committee has put on hold other telecoms projects worth $84 million in the same phase, which ended on December 5.
Iraq's telephone network, much of which was installed by Alcatel in the 1980s, was hit hard during the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait, and it has yet to be fully refurbished. Baghdad has been under sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)