HL Iraq extends U.N. relief for 6 months Hussein rejects proposal to sell oil for food
Credit: NICK B. WILLIAMS Jr.; LOS ANGELES TIMES
SO THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR (INDY)
Edition: FINAL MAKEOVER
LP Amman, Jordan _ Pressed by the prospect of disease and malnutrition with the upcoming winter, the Iraqi government agreed Sunday to extend U.N. humanitarian services in the war- ravaged countryside but continued to reject a deal to sell oil for food. * United Nations envoy Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan announced at a Baghdad news conference that U.N. operations would be extended for six months beginning in January.
TX The agreement will let UNICEF and other U.N. agencies provide food and medical care across the country, including the politically sensitive Kurdish northern region and the Shiite Moslem south. * Extension of the agreement was the goal of Aga Khan"s mission to the Iraqi capital, but he evidently lobbied hard _ and unsuccessfully _ for President Saddam Hussein"s acceptance of the oil-for-food proposal. The prince, U.N. Secretary- General Javier Perez de Cuellar"s personal representative for refugee relief in the wake of the Persian Gulf War, remarked sharply on the regime"s resistance. "The government of Iraq may be held responsible for failing to take advantage of the window of opportunity _ narrow and constricting though it may be _ afforded by the arrangements for oil exports and imports of essential needs," he told reporters in Baghdad, according to dispatches monitored here. "In the political sphere, one of the parties to the recent conflict will continue to be blamed." The proposal would let Iraq export $1.6 billion in oil during a six-month period to raise funds for importing needed food, medicines and other commodities. But the measure requires that the revenues be paid into a U.N.-controlled escrow fund and that nearly a third be set aside to cover war reparations for Kuwait and other states damaged in the war. The money also will be used to pay for U.N. costs in providing relief and destroying Iraqi stocks of weapons of mass destruction. Hussein and his top officials have scorned not only the idea of reparations and of other escrowed funds but also a U.N. requirement that the distribution of foods and medicines bought with oil revenues be carried out under international supervision. The Iraqi leader also was hesitant to approve the extension of the U.N. humanitarian program, Western diplomats said, because it includes the continued deployment of 500 U.N. guards _ armed with pistols _ to provide security for relief workers. Many workers are deployed in Dahuk and other cities in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.
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