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articles from July 24 on removal of sancations.....

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Roxy



Iraq FM: U.N. sanctions need to end


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Nearly two decades after the first Gulf war and six years after Saddam Hussein was removed from power, Iraq still is subject to 73 United Nations resolutions.
Now Iraq's foreign minister says his country "will not regain full sovereignty and independence without getting rid of these resolutions."
Speaking to reporters in Washington, Hoshyar Zebari said Monday that Iraq has paid "billions" of dollars under Chapter 7 of the U.N. sanctions placed on Iraq as a result of the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait and subsequent war.
The U.N. Security Council is reviewing the sanctions, and Zebari said he had "intensive discussions" in New York with members of the Security Council. He said "I think the outcome is positive."
"We felt a great deal of good will that, really, time has come for Iraq to get rid of all these restrictions and to regain its international standing and position as a normal country."
The Iraqi foreign minister said bringing Iraq out of Chapter 7 is an "American commitment also" since Iraq signed the status of forces agreement with the United States, which governs the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq, based on its understanding that the U.S. would help Iraq to come out of Chapter 7.
Foreign Minister Zebari said the sanctions impose a heavy burden on Iraq -- it continues to pay 5 percent of its oil revenues to Kuwait, down from the initial 30 percent.
Iraq's security forces, he told reporters, have "proven they are capable of defending themselves and the country." In the next six months, however, he said, the country faces some risks.
"What can be seen as problems could become crises unless this administration keeps its focus and support to push the situation forward; otherwise this overall strategy of responsible redeployment could be undermined."

If that happens, Zebari said, it "will impact what the U.S. is doing in the Middle East, in the Arab peace process, with Iran, even in Afghanistan because Iraq is such a crucial player in the region."

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/21/iraq.sanctions/

Roxy


Iraq Lobbying For End to Hussein-Era Sanctions

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Iraq yesterday asked key nations on the U.N. Security Council to lift sanctions left over from the Hussein era, including those related to WMD production, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, March 20).

(Jul. 23) - Iraqi security forces march through the city of Mosul this month. Baghdad yesterday urged U.N. Security Council members to eliminate remaining sanctions, some of which targeted the country's one-time WMD activities (Mujahed Mohammed/Getty Images).
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, then individually with representatives from the five permanent members of the Security Council -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- in an effort to persuade them that with infamous dictator Saddam Hussein gone, Iraq is no longer dangerous.
"We were able to clarify to the United Nations as well as the permanent (Security Council) countries that Iraq doesn't appear to be a threat to the international community anymore," said al-Maliki.
The United Nations has gradually pulled back the sanctions it had imposed on Iraq following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It canceled economic sanctions against Baghdad shortly after U.S.-led forces toppled the government in 2003, then dropped a ban on conventional weapons imports a year later.
However, restrictions connected to potential nuclear-, chemical-, and biological-weapon activities have remained in place. Baghdad is also still not allowed to field missiles that could fly more than 93 miles.
At the request last year of the Security Council, Ban launched a review of the situation and the moves that would be necessary "for Iraq to achieve the status it enjoyed prior to the adoption of such resolutions." the report "will be issued shortly," according to U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe.
Washington supports an end to the sanctions, but concerns from Kuwait could extend the process.
"There are a number of obligations on Iraq that relate to the Saddam era that we need to look at again, need to review," said British Ambassador to the United Nations John Sawers. "Some of these relate to the sanctions and proliferation regimes. Some of them relate to the outstanding issues vis-a-vis Kuwait" (Edith Lederer, Associated Press/Yahoo!News, July 22).

Roxy


http://www.energyintel.com/DocumentDetail.asp?Try=Yes&document_id=630970&publication_id=31

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has finally wrapped up the world
body's long-awaited report on Iraq, a UN official tells Oil Daily.
Security Council members will use the report as a basis for deciding
whether to lift UN sanctions imposed against the country after its
invasion of Kuwait in 1990 that force Iraq to pay some of its oil
revenues in reparations, most to Kuwait.
Ban had hoped to have the
report completed by Jul. 10, but it was delayed by wrangling between
Iraqi and UN diplomats, the UN official said. It was finally completed
this week after Ban met in the US with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki and will be released soon, possibly on Friday.
The
report reviews the sanctions imposed on Iraq in the wake of the 1990-91
Gulf war under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which not only require
Baghdad to pay reparations, but also designates the country a threat to
international peace and security, and allows a Security Council member
to use force in Iraq.
Baghdad has been pushing for some time for the
restrictions to be lifted and for reparations to be cut. It argues that
the measures belong to an era when the country was ruled by a dictator.

Iraq has been banking on US support in the push -- and President
Barack Obama lent his backing this week after a meeting with al-Maliki.
"It, I think, would be a mistake for Iraq to continue to be burdened by
the sins of a deposed dictator," he said. "We will work diligently with
Iraq so that in fact Iraq is no longer within Chapter VII."
But
the US president added that lifting the restrictions will require
cooperation from UN members and Iraq's neighbors -- and Kuwait could
prove a stumbling block.
Under the resolution, Iraq has to funnel
5% of its oil revenues into a fund created by the Security Council to
pay reparations for damage caused during the invasion and subsequent
war, of which the bulk goes to Kuwait. Recent Kuwaiti figures suggest
the country has so far received around $15 billion and that Iraq owes a
further $25 billion in reparations and $16 billion for older debts.
A
key Iraqi target has been to persuade the Security Council to reduce
the amount of money it has to pay, ideally down to 1% of its oil
revenues, the UN official said.
Baghdad has also been trying to
persuade Kuwait to accept less, most recently during a visit to the
country by a team led by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
However, there is little sign of any softening on the part of the
Kuwaiti leadership.
Despite its support for Iraq, Washington has
said it won't ignore Kuwaiti sensitivities. There also appears to be a
lack of consensus on the Security Council, where the UN official said
"there is still a lot of sympathy for what Kuwait went through."

4 Maliki acknowledges Iraq challenges ahead on Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:12 pm

Roxy


Maliki acknowledges Iraq challenges ahead

Friday, July 24, 2009 08:54 GMT
In a press conference held at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki affirmed on Thursday that national reconciliation has forged ahead with requirements needed to promote the political process in the country and made headway in building up a Democratic State that relies basically on citizenship.
Political reform is among challenges facing Iraq’s government in building up the country, Al Maliki noted, adding that reconsidering laws and Constitution is necessary to enhance the political process. In this context, Iraqi Prime Minister praised Iraqi security forces achievements.
On the other hand, Al Maliki said Iraq has inherited corruption from the former regime while fighting corruption was a major challenge the government managed to overcome, he explained.
Prime Minister Al Maliki hailed Iraqis’ stand in support to national aims and not sectarian endeavors stressing the necessity to build up a modern state and provide services for citizens. He pointed out as well to new oil contracts mainly that Iraq plans to conclude related contracts with several countries for the sake of reconstruction.

Finally, Iraqi Prime Minister clarified that his government is not depicting a rosy picture of the situation since the country “still has challenges to face”.
He noted that his government managed to curb fallouts and move ahead saying that building a Democratic State in the wake of a dictatorship is a hard task.
The world has witnessed Iraq’s major achievements despite strenuous difficulties while elections’ success is a conclusive proof thereof, Al Maliki uttered. This turning point will always push Iraqis to look for a brighter future, he continued.

5 Maliki acknowledges Iraq challenges ahead on Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:13 pm

Roxy


Maliki acknowledges Iraq challenges ahead

Friday, July 24, 2009 08:54 GMT
In a press conference held at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki affirmed on Thursday that national reconciliation has forged ahead with requirements needed to promote the political process in the country and made headway in building up a Democratic State that relies basically on citizenship.
Political reform is among challenges facing Iraq’s government in building up the country, Al Maliki noted, adding that reconsidering laws and Constitution is necessary to enhance the political process. In this context, Iraqi Prime Minister praised Iraqi security forces achievements.
On the other hand, Al Maliki said Iraq has inherited corruption from the former regime while fighting corruption was a major challenge the government managed to overcome, he explained.
Prime Minister Al Maliki hailed Iraqis’ stand in support to national aims and not sectarian endeavors stressing the necessity to build up a modern state and provide services for citizens. He pointed out as well to new oil contracts mainly that Iraq plans to conclude related contracts with several countries for the sake of reconstruction.

Finally, Iraqi Prime Minister clarified that his government is not depicting a rosy picture of the situation since the country “still has challenges to face”.
He noted that his government managed to curb fallouts and move ahead saying that building a Democratic State in the wake of a dictatorship is a hard task.
The world has witnessed Iraq’s major achievements despite strenuous difficulties while elections’ success is a conclusive proof thereof, Al Maliki uttered. This turning point will always push Iraqis to look for a brighter future, he continued.

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