The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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War Briefs

23 Indian contracts on UN list

New Delhi, April 9: The United Nations has put 23 Indian contracts on the priority list for Iraq once the oil-for-food programme resumes in the war-torn country, reports our special correspondent. These contracts include goods like instant full-cream milk powder, wheat, medicine, vitamins, soyabean meal, water pumps, veterinary pharmaceuticals, gas turbines and educational materials.

The office of the Iraq programme has informed the Permanent Mission of India that the suppliers of goods under the oil-for-food programme have been divided into three categories.

Contracts identified as possible priorities by the UN have been listed in the first category, followed by contracts of goods already in transit in the second.

“Other goods to be considered as possible priorities” comprise the third category.

Among suppliers whose goods are in transit, only those identified on the priority list are being contacted now. Arrangements for other transit contracts are currently being discussed with the UN.

British support

London (Reuters): British support for the war in Iraq reached its highest level yet today, but pollsters said any military kudos could quickly wear off for Prime Minister Tony Blair. The pollsters pointed out that wars rarely won elections and the “khaki effect” may soon fade — patriotic backing for troops risking their lives does not translate into voter support. “Support is at its highest level since the war began,” said pollster Peter Kellner after the latest YouGov opinion poll in the Daily Telegraph showed 63 per cent in favour.

Chirac appeal

Paris (Reuters): French President Jacques Chirac called on Wednesday for a crackdown on racism following recent anti-Semitic attacks and signs that war in Iraq has heightened tension between France’s Jews and Muslims. Chirac made the appeal at a Cabinet meeting, government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope said, three weeks after two French Jews were assaulted during an anti-war protest.

Iran attack ire

Tehran (Reuters): Iran accused US-led forces in Iraq of firing a rocket which killed a boy in southwest Iran on Tuesday, state television said. The missile hit a residential area outside Abadan, a border port city about 50 km east of Basra. An interior ministry spokesman said the incident was caused by “US and British aggressors” responsible for “violating the Islamic Republic’s airspace and inflicting human and property losses”. The incident was the second in the Abadan area since war started in Iraq. A stray rocket from the battle in southern Iraq hit an oil refinery depot in the city on March 21 and injured two people. Iran, which has remained neutral in the war on its doorstep, played down the first incident and said it was a consequence of living next to a war zone.

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