Global Policy Forum

Iraqi Foreign Minister Dismisses

Associated Press
June 20, 1999

Cairo, Egypt - A British-Dutch proposal for the conditional suspension of U.N. sanctions is unacceptable because it would transform Iraq into a colony, Iraq's foreign minister said Sunday.

The British-Dutch draft calls for the oil embargo of Iraq to be suspended once Baghdad answers questions about its banned weapons programs and commits to adhere to strict financial controls to ensure that oil revenues are not spent on new weapons. The proposal runs counter to a Security Council resolution that calls for the lifting of all sanctions against Iraq once weapons inspectors report that Iraq has disarmed, Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf told reporters Sunday after meeting with Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdel-Meguid in Cairo. Al-Sahhaf said the proposal is ''unacceptable'' because it fails to tackle the issue of lifting the sanctions and, instead, would ''transform Iraq into a protectorate, a new colony, through a decision taken in the Security Council.''

Al-Sahhaf refused to comment on a French-Russian-Chinese proposal for ending the sanctions, saying Iraq will wait until it is complete. That plan calls for suspending all economic sanctions once a system to monitor Iraq's weapons programs is in place.

Iraq has been under U.N. sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Security Council has been deadlocked on Iraq since the United States and Britain launched airstrikes in mid-December over Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors.

More Information on Sanctions Against Iraq

More Information on the Iraq Crisis


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