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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 18:35 GMT
New UN decision on Iraq approved



The United Nations Security Council has formally approved a two-week extension of the oil-for-food programme for Iraq, as members continue to discuss a new long-term policy towards Baghdad.

Correspondents say that the Council is still deeply divided over the issue.

The United States had wanted the normal six-months extension, but Russia wanted to give Iraq more financial help to repair its oil industry.

Earlier, Iraq strongly criticised the two-week extension.

Under the current programme, Iraq is allowed to exchange five billion dollars of oil sales for food and medical supplies every six months. The discussions have been deadlocked over a complete lifting of the embargo as favoured by Russia and France.

Britain and the United States want the current regime maintained. In a commentary today Fri, the Iraqi Ath-Thawra newspaper repeated Baghdad's demand that sanctions be lifted entirely.

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