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US President Bush has no interest in controlling Iraqi oil - White House
(10/31/2002 - OGI: Washington) Countering the widespread political and media
views that US President George W. Bush's real interest in a military
takeover of Iraq and removal of its President Saddam Hussein is to gain
control of Iraqi oil, the White House said yesterday that is not the United
Ari Fleischer, Bush's White House press secretary, said, "The only interest
the United States has in the region is furthering the cause of peace and
stability. We are not interested in Saddam Hussein's country's ability to
generate oil." He added, on being asked about whether the US would take over
Iraqi oilfields if it attacks the country, "The purpose of any plan the
United States has is to make certain that Saddam Hussein complies with all
UN resolutions," but he demurred when asked if the US military would control
the oilfields. "I wouldn't even try to start guessing what the military may
or may not do," he said.
Reacting to the recent reports of the US State Department planning a meeting
with Iraqi opposition leaders to determine the future of Iraqi oil and the
prospect of the US dolling out concessions if the American military ran the
oilfields, Fleischer said, "That is not the way America works."
The State Department is, however, to hold a meeting in December that will
include opposition leaders, defectors from the Iraqi petroleum ministry, and
representatives of the US Department of Energy to form a working group to
advise the interim government after Hussein on how to handle the
redevelopment of the fields to increase oil exports to partially pay for a
possible US military occupation government and whether to honor existing
petroleum industry contracts, particularly those with Russian companies that
are valued at over US$3.5 billion.
Click here for earlier report.
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