Global Policy Forum

British MP Says Tide Turning


Agence France Press
April 2, 2000

Abu Dhabi - Public opinion in the West is turning against the decade-old UN embargo on Iraq, British MP and anti-sanctions campaigner George Galloway said on Sunday.

"As the tide has turned in our favor, especially in Britain, it's crucially important to press home the advantage," he told AFP during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, which has repeatedly called for a lifting of sanctions. "This campaign will continue until victory," vowed Galloway, although his own efforts to airlift humanitarian aid to Baghdad were scotched in mid-March. Galloway, a member of Britain's governing Labor party, said his country's interests in the Middle East were also being damaged by its support for the US hard line against Baghdad.

He welcomed last week's UN Security Council resolution which doubled the allocation for purchases of spare parts for Iraq's oil industry as well as US moves to ease imports of humanitarian supplies. "But the proof of the pudding is in the eating," the British MP said. "It will be meaningless unless it is accompanied by an unblocking of Iraqi contracts."

Galloway dismissed arms control and UN efforts to eliminate any remaining banned weaponry as justification for keeping Iraq's 22 million population under indefinite sanctions.

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