News

 


DATE=3/1/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227425
TITLE=IRAQ WRAP  (L ONLY)
BYLINE=LAURIE KASSMAN
DATELINE=CAIRO
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  IRAQIS ARE LINING UP FOR THEIR MARCH RATIONS OF BASIC 
FOODSTUFFS WHILE STATE-RUN NEWSPAPERS COMPLAIN ABOUT A DRAFT U-N 
RESOLUTION WARNING IRAQ OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT COMPLYING WITH
THE MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED A WEEK-AGO IN BAGHDAD.  WE HAVE 
DETAILS FROM CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN IN OUR MIDEAST BUREAU.
 
TEXT:  THE STATE RUN AL-QADISSIYA NEWSPAPER CALLS THE DRAFT U-N 
RESOLUTION UNBALANCED.  THE EDITORIAL ACCUSES WASHINGTON AND 
LONDON, IN THE WORDS OF THE COMMENTARY, OF TRYING TO EMPTY THE 
CONTENTS OF THE AGREEMENT.  
 
U-N SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANAN AND IRAQ'S DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER 
TARIQ AZIZ SIGNED THE DOCUMENT A WEEK-AGO IN BAGHDAD.  IT PAVES 
THE WAY FOR RESUMING U-N INSPECTIONS OF EIGHT PRESIDENTIAL SITES 
IN IRAQ.  BUT THE AGREEMENT ALSO CALLS FOR U-N INSPECTORS TO 
RESPECT THE DIGNITY AND SOVEREIGNTY OF IRAQ AS THEY CARRY OUT 
THEIR MISSION.
 
WASHINGTON AND LONDON WANT THE NEW RESOLUTION TO WARN OF SEVERE 
CONSEQUENCES IF BAGHDAD DOES NOT ALLOW U-N INSPECTORS TO CONTINUE
THEIR WORK.  BAGHDAD SAYS THE DRAFT RESOLUTION SHOULD ALSO WARN 
U-N INSPECTORS TO COMPLY WITH THE MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING.
 
IRAQ'S OIL MINISTER TOLD REPORTERS SATURDAY THE INSPECTORS HAVE 
TO BEHAVE ACCORDING TO U-N STANDARDS.  DURING THE LATEST 
CONFRONTATION, IRAQ ACCUSED SOME OF THE U-N EXPERTS OF SPYING FOR
WASHINGTON.
 
MINISTER AMIR MOHAMED RASHEED ALSO REPEATED IRAQI CLAIMS IT HAS 
DESTROYED ITS TOXIC WEAPONS ARSENALS AND U-N SANCTIONS SHOULD BE 
LIFTED.  THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL WILL NOT LIFT SANCTIONS UNTIL 
U-N INSPECTIONS CONFIRM THOSE CLAIMS.

                        // REST OPT //  

SEVEN YEARS OF TOUGH SANCTIONS HAVE CRIPPLED IRAQ'S ECONOMY AND 
FORCED MANY IRAQIS TO SELL OFF THEIR HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND 
FURNITURE TO SURVIVE.  RESIDENTS LINED UP ON SUNDAY TO GET THEIR 
MARCH RATIONS OF FLOUR AND COOKING OIL, RICE, TEA, AND SOAP.  
 
A SPECIAL U-N OIL-FOR-FOOD DEAL LETS IRAQ SELL A LIMITED AMOUNT 
OF OIL TO BUY FOOD AND MEDICINE.  LAST MONTH, THE U-N SECURITY 
COUNCIL AGREED TO LET IRAQ INCREASE ITS OIL EXPORTS TO 
FIVE-BILLION DOLLARS WORTH EVERY SIX-MONTHS TO FURTHER EASE THE 
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS.   (SIGNED)

NEB/LK/DW/RAE

01-Mar-98 9:17 AM EST (1417 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.