News



DATE=5/29/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-233039
TITLE=U-N / IRAQ AID (L - ONLY) 
BYLINE=MAX RUSTON
DATELINE=NY
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  U-N SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN TODAY (FRIDAY) APPROVED 
THE NEXT STAGE OF IRAQ'S OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM, WHICH ALLOWS THE 
COUNTRY TO EXPORT OIL IN RETURN FOR FOOD, MEDICINE AND 
HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES.  V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON HAS THE STORY FROM OUR
UNITED NATIONS BUREAU.

TEXT:  APPROVAL OF THE NEXT SIX MONTH STAGE OF THE OIL-FOR-FOOD 
PROGRAM FOLLOWS MONTHS OF NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS
AND THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT.  MR. ANNAN'S APPROVAL SHOULD MAKE IT 
POSSIBLE FOR THE NEXT STAGE TO BEGIN ON SCHEDULE ON JUNE THIRD.

NEGOTIATIONS WERE COMPLICATED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL'S DECISION 
IN FEBRUARY TO MORE THAN DOUBLE THE VALUE OF OIL IRAQ IS 
PERMITTED TO EXPORT TO MORE THAN FIVE BILLION DOLLARS.  THE 
COUNCIL DID SO IN RESPONSE TO CONCERNS THAT SANCTIONS IMPOSED 
AFTER THE GULF WAR WERE HARMING ORDINARY IRAQI CITIZENS MORE THAN
THE GOVERNMENT AND MILITARY.

BUT IRAQ'S FOREIGN MINISTER, VISITING NEW YORK THIS WEEK, SAYS 
THE POOR STATE OF HIS COUNTRY'S OIL PRODUCTION FACILITIES WILL 
MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO REACH THE NEW OIL EXPORT TARGET.  HE SAYS 
THE VALUE OF EXPORTS OVER THE NEXT SIX MONTHS IS NOT LIKELY TO 
EXCEED THREE BILLION DOLLARS.

IRAQ IS ASKING THE UNITED NATIONS TO APPROVE EXCEPTIONS TO THE 
SANCTIONS THAT WOULD ALLOW IT TO PURCHASE 300 MILLION DOLLARS IN 
SPARE PARTS FOR ITS OIL INDUSTRY.  IT IS ALSO ASKING FOR MONEY TO
IMPROVE ITS COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE.

THE MOST DIFFICULT ISSUE INVOLVED IN THE RENEWAL OF THE PLAN WAS 
THE QUESTION OF FUTURE RENEWALS.  THE UNITED STATES AND SOME 
OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL WANT TO CONTINUE REVIEWING 
THE PLAN EVERY SIX MONTHS UNTIL SANCTIONS ARE LIFTED.  IRAQ 
OBJECTS TO WHAT IT CONSIDERS MICRO-MANAGEMENT OF THE PLAN BY THE 
SECURITY COUNCIL.

RENEWAL OF THE OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM COMES AMID REPORTS FROM THE 
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN BAGHDAD THAT HUMANITARIAN SUPPLIES ARE 
GENERALLY REACHING TARGET AREAS IN IRAQ.  (SIGNED)



NEB/UN/MPR/PT



29-May-98 10:28 PM EDT (0228 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.