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Bitter debate likely on US resolution
to end Iraq sanctions
Dharam Shourie at the United Nations |
April 26, 2003 10:59 IST
A little over a month after an acrimonious debate in the UN Security Council saw the US decide to go to war against Iraq without the world body's approval, the stage is set for more bitterness as Washington prepares to introduce a resolution next week to lift sanctions against Baghdad.
The resolution would also seek to take the 'oil for food' programme out of UN control, get endorsement for the US-led military coalition, legality for the interim administration and give some control over development funds to be created out of oil revenues to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, diplomats said.
France and Russia are opposed to these moves.
Earlier this week, France had proposed suspending sanctions which would allow airlines to fly into Iraq, among other things, but Russia circulated a paper which called for giving major control over oil revenues to Secretary General Kofi Annan with the power to sign new contracts.
The ending of the UN control could affect the economic fortunes of Russian companies which were trading Iraqi oil and also French companies which were the main buyers.
Paris and Moscow had vehemently opposed American-led military action and diplomats said the debate next week would reflect their fear of being left out of lucrative rebuilding contracts if the UN loses control over the Iraqi programme or is reduced to a peripheral role.