Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb on Tuesday, June 5, urged Baghdad and the United Nations to engage in a dialogue aimed at implementing UN resolutions on Iraq and sparing its people hardships.
"The best solution is a dialogue between Iraq and the United Nations to find a formula that guarantees the implementation of the Security Council resolutions as well as lifting the embargo on Baghdad," Abu Ragheb said.
He was commenting on a US-British bid to seek support within the UN Security Council for a new system of "smart" sanctions against Baghdad, during a joint press conference with Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid.
Britain has submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council to abolish the embargo on civilian trade with Iraq while tightening controls on arms sales and on smuggling by Iraq outside the oil-for-food program.
On Friday, the Security Council adopted a one-month extension of the UN oil-for-food program for Iraq instead of six months in order to allow its five permanent members to discuss the "smart" sanctions proposals.
Iraq rejected the one-month extension and on Monday stopped oil exports to the world except for deliveries to Jordan and Turkey, who both rely heavily on supplies from Baghdad. "There are differences among the permanent members of the Security Council (over the smart sanctions) and the information we have received indicate that there will be obstacles that will undermine easing the hardships of the Iraqi people," Abu Ragheb said.
Ebeid declined to comment, although Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher derided last week any sanctions policy causing the suffering of the Iraqi people as "stupid".
The Egyptian prime minister, who arrived Monday in Amman at the head of a delegation, co-chaired with Abu Ragheb the meetings of the Egyptian-Jordanian higher committee, which endorsed several bilateral accords
Nine agreements or protocols of understanding were signed between the two countries to bolster ties in the fields of information technology, tourism and housing.
Egypt also signed an accord to train Jordanian experts on the peaceful use of atomic energy, amid plans by Jordan to build a mini nuclear reactor for energy and scientific use.
The two countries also agreed to set up maritime links between the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Taba and Jordan's Aqaba resort to bolster tourism in the region.
On May 30 Egypt and Jordan signed an agreement to build a pipeline to send Egyptian natural gas to Jordan in the first stage of a regional distribution project. ― (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)