UN eases Saddam-era sanctions against Iraq
UNITED NATIONS - Agence France-Presse
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari addresses the delegations the Conference on Disarmament at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Denis BalibouseThe UN Security Council on Thursday voted to ease sanctions against Iraq dating from its 1990 invasion of Kuwait amid a significant thaw between the neighbors.
The council lifted the threat of sanctions linked to the search for Kuwaitis and property missing since the invasion by Saddam's forces.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari called the unanimous vote a "landmark" in efforts by Iraq and Kuwait to heal the wounds caused by the invasion, which was ended by an international coalition in
The vote is a major boost to Iraq's efforts to restore its international standing after the toppling of the dictator in 2003 by a US-led invasion.
Under resolution 2107, outstanding humanitarian issues between Iraq and Kuwait -- the missing people and property -- will now be handled under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, which calls for a peaceful resolution of disputes.
They had previously been dealt with under Chapter VII of the charter, which allows for sanctions and military intervention to enforce council demands.
The UN still has an arms embargo against Iraq under Chapter VII, and the sanctions threat remains for Iraq's payment of war compensation to Kuwait.
Iraq was ordered to pay just over $52 billion to its neighbor. Iraq says it still owes about $11 billion and that the debt will be fully paid in 2015.
The resolution acknowledged "the importance of Iraq achieving international standing equal to that" before the 1990 invasion and also welcomed Iraq's "demonstration of its commitment to the full implementation of its outstanding obligations." In a recent report that recommended the easing of sanctions, UN leader Ban Ki-moon said that both governments had shown "statesmanship and respect" in their recent dealings.