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Iraq: Food And Medicine Deliveries Resume


Baghdad, 22 December 1998 (RFE/RL) - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer today called for a European Union conference to improve deliveries of food and medicine supplies to Iraq. Germany takes over the EU presidency in 1999. The United Nations says deliveries of food and other basic supplies to Iraq resumed today after being suspended during U.S. and British air strikes that ended over the weekend.

About 100 trucks crossed the border from Jordan early this morning. Also today, 100 UN aid workers who had been evacuated from Baghdad during the attacks left Jordan today to resume work in Iraq.

In Baghdad, Iraqi army officials said Western warplanes violated Iraqi airspace today and fired two rockets near the southern city of Basra. A British military spokesman said no British warplanes flew missions over Iraq today. U.S. officials have not offered any immediate comment on the report.

Meanwhile, British Defense Secretary George Robertson said that London will produce evidence during the next few days to show that four nights of air strikes crippled Iraq's military capabilities.

Robertson said Iraq is only showing Western correspondents what Baghdad wants the world to see. He said the lack of extensive damage in Baghdad is a sign of how precise the attacks were. He said 12 cruise missiles hit the headquarters of the ruling Ba'ath Party, which UN weapons inspectors had been prevented from visiting.

British and U.S. officials say the strikes cut communications between Baghdad and troops in southern Iraq. They also say the Republican Guard and secret police suffered the brunt of the attacks.

France today called on Washington and London to disclose results of the air strikes to the UN Security Council so that the UN can make new proposals for disarming Baghdad.

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