News



DATE=4/21/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-229996
TITLE= IRAQ / BRITAIN (L-ONLY)  
BYLINE= ANDRE DE NESNERA
DATELINE= LONDON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  IN LONDON, A TWO-DAY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE LOOKING AT 
THE UNITED NATIONS "OIL-FOR-FOOD" PROGRAM FOR IRAQ HAS ENDED 
DELIBERATIONS.  BUT AS V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA 
REPORTS FROM THE BRITISH CAPITAL, FEW CONCRETE RESULTS EMERGED 
FROM THE SESSION.

TEXT:  PARTICIPANTS AT THE CONFERENCE FOCUSED THEIR ATTENTION ON 
WAYS TO BETTER IMPLEMENT THE U-N'S IRAQI "OIL-FOR-FOOD" PROGRAM.

MANY NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS -- AS WELL AS REPRESENTATIVES
FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION AND OTHER COUNTRIES -- EXPRESSED CONCERN 
ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE IRAQIS HIT HARD BY THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS
IMPOSED BY THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL AFTER BAGDHAD'S INVASION OF 
KUWAIT IN 1990. 

BRITISH OFFICIALS SAID THE CONFERENCE ALLOWED EVERYONE TO 
EXCHANGE IDEAS AND EXPERIENCES.  AT THE END OF THE MEETING, 
CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS CALLED ON IRAQ TO COOPERATE FULLY WITH 
THE UNITED NATION'S "OIL-FOR-FOOD" PROGRAM.  THEY ALSO URGED THE 
U-N TO ELIMINATE WHAT THEY CALLED UNNECESSARY BUREAUCRATIC 
DELAYS.

BRITAIN'S SENIOR MINISTER FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, CLARE 
SHORT, TOLD REPORTERS THE PROBLEM IN IRAQ IS  NOT  LIMITED TO A 
SHORTAGE OF FOOD AND MEDICINE.

                        // SHORT ACT // 

         THE PROBLEM IS WITH SYSTEMS -- ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS. THIS
         MEANS THAT HOSPITALS  CANNOT  OPERATE. WATER AND 
         SANITATION IS BREAKING DOWN. LOTS OF PEOPLE USE POWDERED
         MILK, THEY THEREFORE ARE USING WATER THAT IS UNHEALTHY 
         AND THAT CAUSES SICKNESS AMONG PEOPLE. SO WE HAVE TO DO 
         BETTER AT IDENTIFYING OBJECTIVES TO BRING HUMANITARIAN 
         ASSISTANCE AND THEN MAKE THE WHOLE PROGRAM FLOW TO 
         IMPROVE WATER, TO IMPROVE SANITATION AND SO ON. 

                         // END ACT //  

MANY CRITICS DESCRIBED THE CONFERENCE AS NOTHING MORE THAN  WHAT 
THEY CALL A "TALKING SHOP." THEY SAY MANY KEY PLAYER NATIONS 
--SUCH AS JORDAN AND TURKEY -- DECIDED TO BOYCOTT THE CONFERENCE.
RUSSIA, CHINA AND THE ARAB LEAGUE -- WITH THE EXCEPTION OF KUWAIT
-- DID  NOT  SHOW UP AS WELL.

GEORGE GALLOWAY IS A BRITISH MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FROM THE RULING
LABOUR PARTY.  HE IS AN EXPERT ON IRAQ AND JUST RETURNED FROM THE
COUNTRY.  MR. GALLOWAY SAYS THE ONLY WAY TO ALLEVIATE THE 
SUFFERING OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE IS TO LIFT THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS.

                      // GALLOWAY ACT //  

         THE ARAB LEAGUE -- WITH THE EXCEPTION OF KUWAIT -- AND 
         INCLUDING SOME OF OUR BEST WESTERN FRIENDS AND PEOPLE 
         WHO FOUGHT ON THE ALLIED SIDE IN THE GULF WAR IN 1991 
         ARE NOW SAYING THAT THE TIME HAS COME TO CHANGE THIS 
         POLICY, THAT IRAQ HAS SUFFERED ENOUGH. AND THE WIDER 
         INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS OVERWHELMINGLY IN FAVOR OF 
         LIFTING THE SANCTIONS. SO IT IS A POLICY WHICH IS 
         RUNNING OUT OF FRIENDS FAST.  //OPT// IT IS A POLICY 
         WHICH, IN MY VIEW, IS IMMORAL. BUT EVEN IF YOU DO  NOT  
         AGREE WITH ME ON THAT, YOU WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT IT IS 
         NOT  WORKING. THE REGIME IS STRONGER NOW THAN WHEN THE 
         POLICY STARTED. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE WEAKER ARE THE 
         INNOCENT IRAQI PEOPLE.  //END OPT//

                         // END ACT //  

THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL IS EXPECTED TO DISCUSS THE 
ISSUE OF SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ LATER THIS MONTH. (SIGNED)

NEB/ADEN/PCF

 

         



21-Apr-98 9:45 AM EDT (1345 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.