Security Council Lifts Iraq Sanctions
The UN Security Council has now ended several key international sanctions on Iraq stemming from both the First and Second Gulf War's, including those connected to weapons of mass destruction. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hailing the move as a "milestone" for the country's path to stability and normality.
CRI's UN correspondent Shen Ting has more.
The first resolution passed by the 15-nation council lifts sanctions imposed in 1991 to stop Iraq from building nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The second resolution formally ended the oil-for-food program. The third resolution extended UN protection by six months for hundreds of millions of dollars in the Development Fund for Iraq, which was set up after the 2003 war to handle oil and other revenues.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon regarded the action by the Security Council as a "milestone" for Iraq's development in the future.
"This meeting is a milestone for Iraq. Its people have known tremendous hardship. They continue to struggle with insecurity and appalling violence. They lack jobs and basic services. But today we recognize how far the country has come in key aspects of its journey to normalize its status in the community of nations."
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who presided over the meeting, praised the efforts of Iraq's democratically elected government.
"The Security Council welcomes the positive developments in Iraq and recognizes that the situation now existing in Iraq is significantly different. The Security Council also welcomes the important progress Iraq has made in regaining the international standing I held prior to the adoption of resolution 661."
Biden also warned that Iraq must make a final peace with neighbouring Kuwait, and major security challenges remain as well.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari hailed the Security Council's meeting as "a historic session" since it ends an international embargo imposed on Iraq because of the wars started by Saddam's regime.
"The adoptions of these important resolutions mark the beginning of the end of the sanctions regime and restrictions on Iraq's sovereignty, independence and recovery. Our people will rejoice for having turned a chapter on the aggressive, belligerent and defiant behavior of the previous regime toward international law and legitimacy."
Zebari has called the lifting of the sanctions "the biggest political accomplishment for Iraq."
For CRI, this is Shen Ting from the UN Headquarters in New York.