Date: Mar 8, 1999 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 7 Mar 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 7 Mar 1999
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There are 2 messages totalling 65 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. US lawmakers caution Italy about Khatami trip
2. Iraq, Iraq discuss cooperation on health matters

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Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 20:24:55 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: US lawmakers caution Italy about Khatami trip

WASHINGTON, March 4 (AFP) - Two US representatives on Thursday
said they have sent a letter to Italy's prime minister expressing
concern about his plans to invite Iran's president to Rome.
Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Democrat Gary
Ackerman of New York said in a joint statement that their letter
also raises concern about a recent oil contract between an Italian
company and Iran.
"We are convinced that the Iranian regime remains an
international outlaw, despite the apparent promises of reform after
the election of President (Mohammad) Khatami" in 1997, says the
letter to Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema.
"However, after almost two years, the evidence indicates there
have been no substantive improvements in the ruling regime's
conduct, internally and internationally."
The letter cites Tehran's decision to press ahead with its
weapons of mass destruction program and its continued "rabid
opposition to the Middle East peace process, as well as
unconditional support for terrorist groups seeking to sabotage the
process."
On Monday, oil giants Elf Aquitaine of France and Italy's ENI
signed a 540-million-dollar contract to develop an Iranian oil field
despite the threat of US sanctions over heavy investment in Iran's
oil sector.
D'Alema is set to meet with President Bill Clinton on Friday in
Washington.

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Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 20:28:46 GMT
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad@ALGONET.SE>
Subject: Iraq, Iraq discuss cooperation on health matters

TEHRAN, March 7 (AFP) - Iran and Iraq, which have not normalized
ties since the end of their war in 1988, have taken a step closer by
discussing cooperation in the health field, the official IRNA news
agency said Sunday.
Iranian Health Minister Mohammad Farhadi and the head of the
Iraqi Red Crescent Society, Hamid al-Wash, held talks here Saturday
on expanding bilateral cooperation, especially concerning
pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and trade, the agency said.
Iran and Iraq have said several times in recent months that they
were in the process of settling the issues blocking normalization
after their 1980-88 war.
The main bone of contention is prisoners of war and soldiers
missing in action.
Baghdad maintains that it has released all Iranian prisoners,
but Iran insists that at least 5,000 of its troops are still in
Iraq. At the same time, Baghdad says that 20,000 Iraqis are
languishing in Iranian prisons.
In another step toward rapprochement, the two countries agreed
last July that Iranian citizens could travel to Iraq to visit Shiite
Moslem holy sites.

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 7 Mar 1999
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