The Jordanian parliament on Monday, June 11, urged the government to reject a US-British bid for "smart" sanctions on Baghdad and called anew for a total lift of UN-imposed sanctions on Iraq.
The appeal was contained in a statement issued by Jordan's lower house 11 days after Iraqi parliamentary speaker Saadun Hammadi urged Jordanian MPs to pressure the Amman government, which relies heavily on Iraq for its oil needs, to reject the "smart" sanctions.
"The embargo on Iraq should be lifted and all sorts of sanctions imposed on it should be ended because they are unjust," the statement carried by the official Petra news agency said.
It also underscored parliament's "total rejection of the so-called smart sanctions which are aimed at further isolating this Arab nation and undermining the national and economic interests of regional countries, particularly Jordan".
Parliament specifically "calls on the government to reject these sanctions and to continue its efforts for a lifting of the embargo" on Baghdad.
Last week Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb voiced criticism over US-British efforts to rally UN support for an amendment to the current sanctions system on Iraq. "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.
Over the past weeks Iraqi officials have repeatedly warned Jordan and Turkey that their lucrative oil and trade links with Iraq would grind to a halt if they cooperated with smart sanctions.
Amman signed a 2001 trade protocol with Baghdad in November under which it exports $450 million worth of goods to Iraq per year and receives in return five million tons of Iraqi oil, half for free and the rest at a preferential price.
The draft resolution proposed by Britain and backed by the United States aims to abolish the 11-year-old embargo on civilian trade with Iraq while seeking to tighten a ban on sales of arms and military technology.
The proposal also seeks to end oil smuggling between Iraq and its neighbors, including Jordan, the revenues from which bypass the United Nations and go straight into the Baghdad regime's coffers. ― (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)