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Iraqi sanctions lifted

Author:John Fossey Posttime:2010-12-20 08:06:33
Trade to/from Iraq should increase further as a result of the United Nations Security Council's decision to lift most international sanctions on the Middle East country.

An official statement declared that 'the situation now existing in Iraq is significantly different from that which existed at the time of the adoption of resolution 661 in 1990. This was when Saddam Hussein, Iraq's then president, invaded Kuwait.

It was a view stressed by Joe Biden, the US' vice president, who chaired the latest UN Security Council meeting. 'As we take stock of all the Iraqi people have endured and accomplished and all that still must be done, we cannot lose sight of the fact that Iraq is on the cusp of something remarkable - a stable, self-reliant nation; a just, representative and accountable government; and a positive force for peace and stability in the region,' he said.

In a unanimous vote, the council agreed to allow Iraq the freedom to pursue peaceful nuclear programmes. It noted that the country now belonged to international treaties and conventions on nuclear non-proliferation and chemical and biological weapons and had the confidence of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The security council also voted to return control of Iraq's oil and natural gas revenue to the government from June 30, 2011, and to end all remaining activities of the oil-for-food programme. The latter had helped ordinary Iraqis cope with the trade sanctions.

Commenting on the vote, Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, said the removal of the restrictions marked the beginning of the end of the sanctions regime and limitations on Iraq's sovereignty, independence and recovery.

He added: 'Our people will rejoice for having turned a chapter on the aggressive, belligerent and defiant behavior of the previous regime towards international law and legitimacy.'

However, some restrictions were not lifted by the security council and Iraq must still fulfill obligations towards Kuwait to resolve outstanding issues from the 1990 war. These relate mainly to border and property disputes and the fate of missing Kuwaitis.

Since the western coalition troops started their withdrawal from Iraq and democratic elections have been established trade flows and international investment has soared and will be given another filip from this decision.

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