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U.S. Wants Sanctions Lifted from Iraq - 2003-05-09


In Iraq, the U.S. military reports an American soldier was shot and killed on a Baghdad bridge Thursday. There are few details available, but Central Command says a sniper killed the soldier.

The incident came as the U.S. campaigned to put an end to sanctions against Iraq. A draft resolution calling for the sanctions to be lifted is to be presented to the United Nations Security Council on Friday. Amy Katz has more.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, says he has asked the Security Council to schedule consultations for Friday morning to circulate the draft resolution, which is to be introduced by the U.S., Britain, and Spain. Ambassador Negroponte said he expects the resolution to be approved before the existing oil-for-food program comes up for renewal at the beginning of June.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell explained why the new resolution is needed.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE
“It is a resolution that does not fight the battles of the past, but it is forward looking, a resolution that will unite the international community to help the people of Iraq to a better life, and to build a new government. It will lift the sanctions to that end, and I think it is a resolution that everybody will be able to rally around.”

But some of the Council members who opposed the war may also oppose lifting the sanctions. France, Russia and China have said they want U.N. weapons inspectors to go back to Iraq and verify that there are no weapons of mass destruction in the country, before the sanctions are lifted.

On Wednesday, U.S. President George W. Bush ordered bilateral U.S. sanctions against Iraq be lifted. He made that announcement at a joint news conference with visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.

In Iraq, the search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction continues with the U.S. announcing it will send about 2,000 more experts to Iraq to join the search, more than tripling the size of the force.

U.S. forces in Iraq also continue to do tests on this vehicle, which U.S. officials say appears to be a mobile biological weapons laboratory. The Pentagon says it closely matches photographic evidence Secretary of State Powell presented to the Security Council in February.

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