SAUDIS OPPOSE LIFTING SANCTIONS
In a rather baffling statement, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister says UN sanctions on Iraq should remain in place until a new Iraqi government is put into place
“Now Iraq is under an occupying power and any request for lifting sanctions must come when there is a legitimate government which represents the people… and which can comply with its duties toward lifting sanctions,” Faisal told reporters after the meeting in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
The United States wants a quick end to the 12-year-old sanctions, which would allow Iraq to sell oil to help pay for postwar reconstruction following Saddam’s overthrow.
The first postwar regional forum also rejected U.S. accusations that Syria was sheltering aides of the former Iraqi president and developing chemical weapons. Syria denies both charges.
Faisal said the U.N. embargo on Iraq should end only when a representative government took control.
“(The ministers) affirmed that the Iraqi people should administer and govern their country by themselves, and any exploitation of their natural resources should be in conformity with the will of the legitimate Iraqi government and its people,” he said, reading from a joint statement.