Group of eight Middle East states say no lifting of sanctions before legitimate Iraqi government

22 April 2003
A group of eight Middle East countries meeting in Riyadh on 19 April said that UN sanctions on Iraq should only end when Iraq has a legitimate government, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Prince Saud also said that the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq had not right to exploit the country's oil.

The meeting was attended by the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iran and Turkey. A joint statement issued from the meeting said that ' -Iraq is under an occupying power and any request for lifting sanctions must come when there is a legitimate government which represents the people -and which can comply with its duties towards lifting sanctions'.

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