Letter: The future for Iraq

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The correspondence in your columns following the bombing of Iraq seems to show a consensus on two points. The sale of arms to Iraq should remain illegal, but all other sanctions should cease.

And a humane way must be found to help the Iraqi people's development, without enriching their government or ceasing to monitor their "weapons of mass destruction".

Fifty years ago, in the aftermath of the Second World War, most of our European countries were in ruins, governments were facing bankruptcy and millions of people were suffering from under-nourishment and poverty.

The United States offered each country a chance to participate in a "European Recovery Program", which became known as the Marshall Plan. This laid the foundations of Western Europe's current economic prosperity.

Now we Europeans are comparatively prosperous and the Middle Eastern region is in a situation comparable to ours 50 years ago. Should not the United Kingdom therefore propose to the European Union that, together with the United States, Israel and the richer Arab states, we offer a "Middle East Recovery Programme", at least to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran?

Such an offer would add to the budgetary strains the processes of enlargement and internal restructuring are imposing on the EU but, if administered by the United Nations, it might provide the world with an aim that would unite Christian and Muslim, Jew and Arab, the United States, Russia and China in a common effort.

ROBIN EVANS

Worcester

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