» Thursday, April 22, 2004

Oil-for-food programme

Asked for a reaction to the revelations regarding the UN Oil-For-Food Programme, the PMOS said that it was a matter for the UN. They had been well aware of our concerns in the past. We welcomed the fact that they had set up an inquiry and we believed that they should be given the time and space to carry it out. Asked to detail the concerns we had expressed, the PMOS said that they had been about the operation of the Oil-For-Food Programme and had been raised through the usual channels. Asked if our concerns had coloured our attitude to Iraq last February/March, the PMOS said that the decisions which had been made at that time had been taken primarily for other reasons. However, our awareness of the situation had formed part of the backdrop to our assessment as to how effective sanctions were in the long term. Asked if Downing Street was concerned about the reported involvement of a British MP, the PMOS said he thought it would be more helpful to allow the UN to carry out its inquiry and reach definite conclusions before responding to any claims that had been made.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

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