UN confirms Iraqi suspension of exports under oilforfood scheme

Iraqi oil authority representatives advised UN monitors on the ground that the suspension came “on the direct instructions of their authorities in Baghdad,” according to a UN spokesman, who said that to his knowledge the reasons for the halt had not been given.Meanwhile, the website of the Permanent Mission of Iraq to the UN carried a bulletin from the Iraqi News Agency, stating that no oil would be lifted for 30 days or until the Israeli armed forces have “unconditionally withdrawn from the Palestinian territories they have occupied and have shown respect for the will of the Palestinian people and the Arab nation to sovereignty, security, dignity and life.”A spokesperson for the oil-for-food programme, noted that the suspension would have an impact on the financial basis of the scheme. “We are concerned, as we’ve been saying there is already a funding crisis so this will not help,” Hasmik Egian told the UN News Service.Currently, some 72 per cent of Iraq’s crude revenue is allocated to the oil-for-food programme in Iraq, while 25 per cent goes to the UN Compensation Commission which pays claims for damages arising from Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait. The remaining revenue is used to cover administrative costs associated with the programme and the UN Monitoring and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC).

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