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Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 10:03:33 -0600
Message-Id: <199712101603.KAA07889@radish.interlink-bbs.com>
From: alghassa@sol.racsa.co.cr
Reply-To: Iraq-l@interlink-bbs.com
To: Iraq-l@interlink-bbs.com
Subject: IRQ-NEWS: Muslim leaders call for lifting Iraq sanctions

Muslim leaders call for lifting Iraq sanctions

Reuters, 10 December 1997, 04:47 GST, Dubai time (00:47 GMT)

TEHRAN, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Several Musim leaders at an Islamic summit on Tuesday called for the lifting of U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Palestinian President Yasser Arafat said: We confirm our sincere and continuous appeals to end the unjust siege imposed on brethren Iraq, and to end unjust sanctions on its children and people.

Iraq tried earlier in the week at a foreign ministers' meeting preparing for the triennial Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit to include a draft resolution calling for the lifting or at least easing of the sanctions but failed.

The United States and those who work for it in there have blocked it, said an angry Iraqi official pointing at the meeting hall.

Deputy President Taha Yassin Ramadan, the most senior Iraqi to visit Tehran since the 1979 revolution, said he was carrying a message to the summit from President Saddam Hussein to plead Iraq's case against the sanctions.

Even Iran, Iraq's 1980-88 war foe, added its voice to calls to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people living under crippling sanctions.

Iran's supreme leader told the summit lives of millions of human beings, especially children, are threatened in Iraq.

The Arab League made a similar appeal and stressed that the threat of use of force against Iraq in its latest standoff with the United Nations violated the principles of international law and the world body.

League Secretary-General Esmat Abdel-Meguid called at the summit for removing the suffering of the Iraqi people. The sanctions were imposed against Iraq when it seized Kuwait on August 2, 1990 while OIC foreign ministers were meeting in Cairo.

Abdel-Meguid, then Egypt's chief diplomat, played a key role in forging an Arab alliance which fought alongside the United States in the 1991 Gulf War.

OIC Secretary-General Azeddine Laraki told the summit on Tuesday: The consequences of the second Gulf War with their grave human dimensions are another source of deep concern.

They have two sides: one is the continued suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of the blockade imposed on their country, and the other is the efforts of the Kuwaiti people to overcome the after effects of the war.

Laraki called for an international effort to help the Iraqi people pending the lifting of the sanctions.

Delegates said Iraq's efforts to include a reference to the suffering of the Iraqi people in the final communique, which is drafted by host Iran, could succeed.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait argue that Saddam is to blame for prolonging the hardship of Iraqis by failing to meet U.N. demands.

Iraq has won some sympathy from Arabs aghast at the impact of sanctions on the Iraqi people. Many feel the United States and its allies fail to hold Israel or Turkey to the same international standards they apply to Baghdad.

Arafat voiced that view, adding that U.N. resolutions should be implemented equally.