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|Thursday, November 01, 2001, updated at 09:16(GMT+8)|
Iraq Wishes to "Turn a New Page" in Ties With FranceIraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri Wednesday said in Paris that Iraq wishes to turn a new page in its relations with France, according reports by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"We wish to turn a new page. We are prepared to make efforts in this direction, but all depends on Paris," said the minister in Baghdad in an interview with AFP.
"This depends on the attitude that Paris will take because the more it separates itself from the influences of the United States, the nearer it gets with the Arab world," said Sabri.
"The position of France was sometimes influenced by other countries including the United States, which has affected the ties between Paris and the Arab world and Iraq," he said.
In September, Sabri said Baghdad was determined to maintain relations with Paris despite the "negative positions" of France towards it.
"The relations between Iraq and France will keep going despite the latter's negative position concerning the stupid sanctions," he said, referring to the project of "smart sanctions" drafted by London and Washington aimed at alleviating sanctions on Iraqi civilians while reinforcing controls of military aspects.
With contracts totaling at 3.5 million U.S. dollars, France has been Iraq's largest supplier within the U.N. oil-for-food humanitarian program over the past four years.
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