Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, July 24, 2006

Iraqi FM Zebari Speaks Out; Iraq’s reconciliation Committee to Meet; The Oil for Food Scandal Yields its First Conviction

As reported by the Washington Kurdish Institute, “Iraq’s Foreign Minister, the Kurdish Hoshyar Zebari, offers a familiar perspective on the current volatile situation in the Middle East. Zebari says that “what is happening at present is a war by proxy and the beginning of a wider regional confrontation.” He warned of “countries that seek to control the Arab region and discussed the situation in Iraq, where Arabs should play a significant role in limiting Iranian influence.” In a discussion on Iraq, Zebari said that civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites “is the biggest problem that we are facing at present. The increased violence and sectarian frustration is threatening the entire Iraqi state and subjecting it to great danger.”

In other news, WKI reports that “a government committee to try to unite Iraq’s sectarian and political groups will hold its first meeting Saturday.” The Prime Minister will head the first meeting, “which will put in place an organizational framework and ask political and dialogue committees to contact armed groups.” Another mission the committee wil have is to “hold a reconciliation conference.”

“Last Thursday South Korean businessman, Tongsun Park, was convicted in the Southern district of New York of conspiracy to launder money and act as an unregistered agent of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.” According to WKI, Mr. Park “used his foothold to help Saddam corrupt the 1996-2003 Oil for Food program from the start, the aim being to undermine the UN sanctions and ultimately remove them altogether.” The reports says that, “in return, Mr. Park received at least $2.5 million from Iraq, with a promised millions more to come.”

To read more from the Washington Kurdish Institute click here.


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