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Iraq Accepts 6 Month Extension of Oil Deal

On Saturday, Iraq accepted an extension of its "oil-for-food" deal with the United Nations for another six months.

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John Negroponte, United States ambassador to the United Nations, votes in favor of a Security Council resolution on Iraq

"The Republic of Iraq will continue to implement the memorandum of understanding (with the UN) in its (new) 11th phase," Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told reporters.

The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday in favour of a US and Russian compromise resolution. This pledges to revise sanctions against Iraq within six months and extends the existing UN oil-for-food programme for Baghdad until then.

Under the oil-for-food programme, Iraq can sell oil and use the proceeds to buy food, medicine and many other supplies. This is an exception to the sanctions imposed in August 1990 when Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait. Oil revenues must be deposited in a UN account out of which suppliers are paid.

The programme, which would have expired on Friday, must be renewed every six months.

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