News



DATE=5/21/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232564
TITLE=IRAQ / TRADE (L ONLY)
BYLINE=EDWARD YERANIAN
DATELINE=BEIRUT
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  U-N SANCTIONS ON TRADE WITH IRAQ ARE SUPPOSED TO SHARPLY 
LIMIT THE GOODS IRAQ CAN PURCHASE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.  BUT 
EDWARD YERANIAN IN BEIRUT REPORTS TRADE BETWEEN IRAQ AND MANY OF 
ITS NEIGHBORS IS ON THE INCREASE.

TEXT:  ARAB PUBLIC OPINION HAS TURNED AGAINST U-N ECONOMIC 
SANCTIONS.  OBSERVERS IN THE REGION SAY THIS IS BECAUSE THE 
SANCTIONS ARE HURTING THE IRAQI PEOPLE. 

THE FOREIGN EDITOR OF BEIRUT'S AL AN WAR NEWSPAPER, HANNA ANBAR, 
SAYS TRADE WITH IRAQ IS INCREASING BECAUSE ARAB NATIONS  NO  
LONGER SEE ANY JUSTIFICATION FOR KEEPING SANCTIONS IN PLACE.

                     /// ANBAR ACT ONE  ///

         EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THERE IS LOTS OF TRADE TAKING PLACE
         WITH IRAQ FROM SURROUNDING COUNTRIES.  AND ALL THE 
         PEOPLE IN THESE COUNTRIES ARE FOR IT.  THERE ISN'T AN 
         OUTCRY AGAINST THIS SORT OF THING. ON THE CONTRARY.

                        ///  END ACT  ///

THE PRESIDENT OF THE LEBANESE INDUSTRIALISTS' ASSOCIATION, 
JACQUES SARRAF, AGREES THAT TRADE BETWEEN IRAQ AND ITS NEIGHBORS 
IS NOW ON THE RISE.

                    ///  SARRAF ACT ONE  ///

         THERE IS 30-THOUSAND TRUCKS EACH MONTH BETWEEN TURKEY 
         AND IRAQ.  THERE IS A TRADE EXCHANGE BETWEEN 
         800-MILLION-DOLLARS TO ONE-BILLION DOLLARS BETWEEN IRAQ 
         AND JORDAN AND ALSO THERE IS NOWADAYS A BIG IMPORTANCE 
         OF EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE GULF, THE ARAB GULF, AND MAINLY 
         DUBAI AND BAGHDAD.

                        ///  END ACT  ///

HANNA ANBAR SAYS COUNTRIES NEAR IRAQ  CANNOT  BE OVERLY STRICT 
ABOUT ENFORCING U-N SANCTIONS BECAUSE THAT HURTS THEIR OWN 
ECONOMIES

                     ///  ANBAR ACT TWO  ///

         WE HAVE TO REALIZE THAT JORDAN, SYRIA, AND LEBANON HAVE 
         BEEN MAJOR EXPORTERS OF GOODS TO IRAQ THROUGHOUT THE 
         YEARS AND THE IRAQI MARKET HAS BEEN A GREAT LOSS TO 
         THEM.

                        ///  END ACT  ///

///  OPT  ///   LEBANON ONCE EXPORTED NEARLY 30 PERCENT OF ITS 
INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT TO IRAQ, AND BEIRUT IS EAGER TO RECOVER SOME OF
THAT MARKET.  SYRIA REOPENED ITS BORDER WITH IRAQ LAST YEAR, SAYS
JACQUES SARRAF, AND THIS GIVES A BOOST TO TRADE:

                ///  OPT  //  SARRAF ACT TWO  ///

         WE HAVE SUCCEED AT LEAST TO CONVINCE OUR FRIENDS IN 
         DAMASCUS THAT IT IS THE RIGHT TIME TO EXPORT OUR 
         PRODUCTS NOW THE ROAD VIA SYRIA IS OPEN.  AND WE HOPE 
         THROUGH THIS WE CAN COMPETE AND WE CAN AGAIN HAVE NEW 
         POSITIONS IN THE IRAQI MARKETS.

                 ///  END ACT  //  END OPT  ///

AS NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES SCRAMBLE TO TRADE WITH IRAQ, THE UNITED 
NATIONS IS HAVING TROUBLE ENFORCING ITS PRESENT SANCTIONS. 

THE MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT OF THE ECONOMIST MAGAZINE, ED 
MCBRIDE, NOTES PEOPLE FIND IT EASY TO SMUGGLE GOODS ACROSS THE 
BORDER FROM NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES INTO IRAQ.  AND HE SAYS U-N 
OFFICIALS HAVE TROUBLE COPING WITH THE GOODS THAT ENTER IRAQ AT 
LEGITIMATE BORDER CROSSINGS. 

                      ///  MCBRIDE ACT  ///

         AND IF YOU GO TO THE BORDER BETWEEN JORDAN AND IRAQ, 
         THERE ARE HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS OF TRUCKS QUEUING UP, 
         WAITING TO COME IN.  THERE'S NO  ONE  REALLY CHECKING 
         WHAT'S COMING IN THESE.  THERE'S EQUIPMENT IN BAGHDAD 
         THAT OBVIOUSLY CAME WITHOUT APPROVAL OF THE U-N, THAT 
         SHOULD HAVE BEEN COVERED UNDER SANCTIONS, THAT THE 
         GOVERNMENT HAS OBVIOUSLY GOT HOLD OF SOMEHOW.  SADDAM 
         HAS SPANKING NEW POLICE CARS, BY ALL REPORTS HIS ARMY 
         AND MISSILE SYSTEMS CONTINUE TO GROW AND IMPROVE THEIR 
         EQUIPMENT.  ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE PRECISELY WHAT THE 
         U-N WANTED  NOT  TO HAPPEN.

                        ///  END ACT  ///

THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL VOTED IN APRIL TO KEEP SANCTIONS ON IRAQ
IN PLACE UNTIL OCTOBER.  BUT IN THE MEANTIME, SAYS HANNA ANBAR, 
THE SANCTIONS ARE SLOWLY FALLING APART.

                    ///  AMBAR ACT FOUR  ///

         THE WAY SANCTIONS ARE BEING IGNORED IS A WOODPECKER 
         SYNDROME IT MIGHT TAKE TIME, BUT A WOODPECKER GETS AT A 
         TREE, AND THE TREE AT SOME POINT,  NO  MATTER HOW BIG IT
         IS, WILL FALL.

                       ///  END ACT  /// 

AS SUPPORT FOR SANCTIONS IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL WANES, IRAQ IS 
SENDING ITS TOP MINISTERS ACROSS EUROPE TO ARGUE THAT SANCTIONS 
ARE  NO  LONGER JUSTIFIED.  BUT MOST OF IRAQS' NEIGHBORS HAVE 
ALREADY REACHED THE SAME CONCLUSION.  (SIGNED)

NEB/EY/JWH

21-May-98 7:36 AM EDT (1136 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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