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Powell Promises Help to Jordan

June 29, 2001

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PARIS (AP) _ Secretary of State Colin Powell voiced doubt Friday that a U.S.-British plan to overhaul sanctions imposed on Iraq would be approved soon by the U.N. Security Council.

Powell told reporters as he flew here from a meeting with Crown Prince Abdallah of Saudi Arabia that he was pleased with the ``political success″ of rallying other Council members to support a new sanctions policy.

Referring clearly to France and China as recruits to the U.S.-British approach, Powell singled out Russia as the holdout.

He said Russia was protecting its commercial interests and also was not convinced all sanctions ultimately would be removed.

Russia, Iraq’s closest ally on the Council, has threatened to veto the proposal.

And in New York, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Riyadh Al-Qaisi reiterated Baghdad’s vehement opposition to the U.S.-backed British plan during an open Security Council meeting Thursday on the humanitarian impact of sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

It was the first time a senior Iraqi official had addressed the council in several years.

Powell flew here from Jordan where he said he had promised King Abdullah II U.S. assistance ``to try to minimize″ the impact of the new sanctions regime.

Jordan, a neighbor of Iraq, was one of its strongest economic partners.

The U.S.-backed British plan would lift most restrictions on civilian goods entering Iraq while tightening enforcement of the 1990 arms embargo and plugging up lucrative Iraqi smuggling routes.

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