ABC's RawNews WIRE:06/26/2000 13:58:00 ET

Italy parliament wants end to embargo on Iraq

BAGHDAD, June 26 (Reuters) - Two Italian deputies
visiting Iraq said on Monday their parliament had
approved a resolution asking the Rome government to
end 10-year-old U.N. sanctions against Baghdad and
upgrade bilateral diplomatic ties.

"The Italian parliament is the first European parliament
to adopt a resolution asking the government to end the
embargo on Iraq," Communist deputy Tullio Grimaldi told

"We expect and hope that other parliaments like that
of France and Germany to follow suit."

Grimaldi said the resolution aimed at increasing
Italy's exports of humanitarian needs to Iraq outside
the United Nations humanitarian oil-for-food

"The position of the to increase
humanitarian supplies to Iraq directly from Italy not
only under Iraq's oil-for-food deal with the United
Nations," he said.

The U.N. sanctions, imposed on Iraq for its 1990
invasion of Kuwait, ban the country from trading
freely with the outside world. The U.N. has, however,
allowed Baghdad since December 1996 to export oil
to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian needs
for the Iraqi people.

Earlier this month, Italian Prime Minister Giuliano
Amato told visiting Iraqi parliament Speaker
Saadoun Hammadi that Iraq must comply with a
U.N. resolution on disarmament before sanctions
could be lifted.

Baghdad has rejected a U.N. resolution adopted last
December which could lift sweeping sanctions if
Baghdad cooperates with a new arms inspection
regime, saying it has no weapons of mass destruction.

U.N. weapons inspectors left Baghdad on the eve of
four-day extensive U.S.-British bombings against
Iraq in December, 1998.

Gian Guido Folloni, a member of the Italian Senate,
said the recent resolution approved by the Italian
parliament called for improving ties between the two

"The resolution...requests the government to upgrade
diplomatic relations with Iraq during this year and
increase the humanitarian supplies to Iraq even on
bilateral basis," Folloni said.

Italy severed diplomatic ties with Iraq during the
1991 Gulf War, but it recently sent a diplomat to
head an interest section to look after trade deals
between the two countries under the oil-for-food

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