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Iraq Urges for a Total Embargo Lift

China Daily
November 8, 1999

Baghdad - Deputy Premier Tareq Aziz said Iraq was against any debate in the UN Security Council not aimed at lifting totally the sanctions against it. "These manoeuvres being carried out (at the Security Council) are unacceptable to us," Aziz said at a meeting on Saturday with British Labour MP George Galloway, who is campaigning for lifting of the nine-year-old embargo on Iraq.

The five permanent members of the council had decided to intensify discussions in the next few weeks to reach an accord on suspending sanctions against Iraq, British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock said on Friday. A British plan backed by the United States proposes to suspend only the embargo on Iraqi exports for renewable 120-day periods if Baghdad satisfies the basic demands concerning its disarmament, especially a return to international controls.

But Aziz dismissed this move as "cheating" and "tricks," adding: "The Iraqi people have suffered for more than nine years. They have succeeded in resisting this aggression. They will continue their struggles no matter how long it is to protect their rights, to protect their independence." Galloway arrived in Iraq on Saturday at the end of a two-month road trek on a red London double-decker bus, and was greeted at the border with Jordan by a large gathering of Iraqi deputies and trade union leaders, the official INA news agency said.

He told INA that sympathizers had joined his convoy on stops in France, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Jordan to support efforts to lift the UN embargo. Galloway called in Jordan for Arab countries to ignore the UN sanctions which have been in force ever since Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. The MP from the ruling Labour Party of Prime Minister Tony Blair left London on September 9 with 12 young British volunteers and also travelled through Spain en route to Iraq.

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