Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Rashid said Baghdad was in a strong position to help erode the crippling sanctions imposed on the country after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, in an interview published yesterday. "Sanctions will be eroded, disintegrated, due to the will and steadfastness of the Iraqi people", he said.
"The wisdom of our leadership in managing this crisis situation, the unjust cause that our enemy, the US administration, is following and the support of friendly countries that are fully aware of the situation," he added.
"We are moving ahead with our own plans to increase, diversify and widen our trade relationships with neighbouring countries as well as with others," Mr Rashid told the Cyprus-based Middle East Economic Survey (Mees). "We have soldified our political unity. We are improving our economic system.
This puts us in a strong position. The whole policy of America towards Iraq has failed," Mr Rashid said. "Do we expect the United States to lift sanctions? This is absolutely not our policy," the minister said.
"What has happened during the last two years is that the moves to destroy Iraq are finished." Iraq has been under embargo ever since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It is authorised to export crude under UN supervision.
The deal is to finance imports of food, medicine and essential goods.
Resolution 1284, which was adopted by the Security Council in December 1999, offered to suspend the 10-year-old sanctions.
Security council said that it will happen only 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.
UN has set up a body called UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (Unmovic), in pursuant to the resolution. - AFP
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