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France Calls for Lifting of Sanctions Against Iraq

Xinhua News Agency
August 1, 2000

French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said on Tuesday that the economic sanctions against Iraq imposed 10 years ago should be lifted and the U.S.-British should stop bombing the country.

In an interview with the Arabic daily Al-Hayat published in London, Vedrine said that the continuation of the bombings against Iraq is "useless and not understandable," and that the sanctions against Iraq have become "cruel, inefficient and dangerous."

"Cruel because they punish exclusively the Iraqi population and the weakest of them. Inefficient because they don't touch the regime which is not pushed to cooperate. Dangerous because they nourish the resentment of "the embargo generation," this generation of the young people who only know war and hardship," he said.

These sanctions also risk to destroy the social cohesion of Iraq and in the mid-term threaten the stability of the region, he said.

"The necessary regional security should be ensured by other means than embargo," said the foreign minister. He said that France is counting on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1284 to have U.N. arms control re-established and sanctions lifted. The resolution was adopted in December 1999 to renew the cooperation between the U.N. and Iraq over arms inspection while promising to suspend the sanctions in case Iraq cooperates.

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