UN official preaches flexibility in Iraq oil dispute

Published December 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The impasse over halted Iraqi crude oil exports can be resolved if the parties involved remain flexible, a senior UN official said Monday. 

 

"I hope that with a logical approach, we can gradually resolve this question," said Benon Sevan, the UN official responsible for Iraq's oil-for-food program under sanctions imposed following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He said UN oil overseers met Iraqi officials Monday to discuss the issue. 

 

In an attempt to wrest its oil revenues away from international control, Iraq on Friday halted exports, taking around 2.4 million barrels per day off the world market. Baghdad blamed the action on the United Nations for rejecting its pricing formula for oil exports in December. 

 

Iraq had slapped a 50-cent premium per barrel for December, which the United Nations said amounted to a violation of the sanctions regime as the premium would be paid directly to Baghdad and not to the UN-controlled escrow account for Iraqi oil exports. 

 

However, Iraq also offered at the same time a discount to clients, to compensate for the 50 cent premium, and the United Nations said the formula was below a fair market price.—AFP. 

©--Agence France Presse. 

 

© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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