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UPDATED: 09:57, January 22, 2006
Correction: Turkey halts refined oil supply to Iraq
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Turkish companies have decided to halt supply of refined oil to Iraq due to Baghdad's overdue debts, a cabinet minister said on Saturday.

Foreign Trade Minister Kursad Tuzmen was quoted by the semi- official Anatolia news agency as saying that Turkish companies have stopped shipping refined fuel to Iraq as of Saturday because Iraq has failed to pay debts totally 1 billion U.S. dollars.

Tuzmen said that the decision was made although Iraq promised on Thursday to pay the debts within 15 days.

But the minister said that if Iraq pays the debts, the supply will resume.

Turkey has been an important supplier of refined oil product to Iraq, a country hungry for fuel despite large oil reserves.

Turkey's oil halt is seen as likely to aggravate the already severe shortage of fuel in Iraq as people have been lining up at gas stations.

Source: Xinhua

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