UN chief, Maliki discuss lifting Iraq sanctions

Other News Materials 6 February 2009 22:37 (UTC +04:00)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed Friday with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki the lifting of sanctions imposed on Iraq during Saddam Hussein's regime.

During his surprise visit to Baghdad earlier in the day, Ban had a meeting with Maliki and other senior officials, including Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Xinhua reported.

"We have discussed the ending of UN sanctions on Iraq which were imposed after the invasion of the previous regime on Kuwait," Maliki said at a joint news conference with Ban after their meeting in Baghdad.

For his part, Ban Ki-moon said that the UN "is in the process of reviewing all the resolutions and on my return I will discuss this issue with the Security Council."

The United Nations had imposed severe sanctions on Iraq after Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Some sanctions were actually lifted but others like arms embargo and some financial restrictions are still in place.

Ban's visit came a week after Iraq's landmark provincial elections, in which Maliki's list prevailed in Baghdad and eight other Shiite provinces, according to preliminary election results announced on Thursday.

"I came to Iraq today in order to congratulate the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government after last Saturday's provincial elections and to show the support of the international community during this momentous time," Ban said.

On his arrival in Baghdad, Ban was received by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and the two held a meeting in Talabani's office.

During the meeting, Ban reassured Baghdad about UN's commitment to the country and to congratulate the Iraqi people on the success of provincial elections.