Iraq continuing to ship oil through Turkey
Iraq is continuing to ship oil through a pipeline running through the northern city of Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan despite the US-led military campaign against Baghdad.Updated: Mar 28, 2003 15:33 IST
Iraq is continuing to ship oil through a pipeline running through the northern city of Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan despite the US-led military campaign against Baghdad, the Iraqi ambassador to Moscow Abbas Khalaf said in an interview published on Friday.
"This oil is being shipped under the terms of the UN oil-for-food programme suspended when the armed aggression against Iraq began," Khalaf told Interfax news agency, referring to the US and British attacks launched on March 20.
The oil-for-food programme was officially suspended when UN Secretary General Kofi Annan ordered UN personnel out of Iraq on the eve of the onset of hostilities, but late on Thursday the UN Security Council agreed on a draft resolution to reactivate the programme likely to be adopted within 24 hours.
Khalaf said Baghdad would welcome the UN move, and stressed that the programme should resume unchanged.
"Iraq is a sovereign and solvent state which can maintain itself and does not need hand-outs like the humanitarian aid offered by the aggressors," Interfax quoted him as saying.
The envoy said there were currently about $40 billion (€37 billion) in the oil-for-food programme's accounts.
"These and other funds which Iraq can access by exporting oil under the UN programme are enough not only to meet our needs but also to aid other countries even under the blockade and armed aggression," he said.
Washington and London have called for the rapid resumption of oil-for-food, while critics of the military action, notably Russia, had opposed using the UN humanitarian programme as a channel for emergency war relief, saying it might legitimise the war.
First Published: Mar 28, 2003 15:33 IST