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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 01, 2003

Israel reaps early Iraq war benefits

This article in The Middle East Times (Cairo) indicates an American response to those countries helping the U.S. in one form or another in the war in Iraq
Israel has emerged the first country in the region to benefit from the war on Iraq and is lined up to receive 10 billion dollars in assistance under a US emergency bill to cover costs tied to the conflict.

Iraq itself will have to wait until security improves to receive goods contracted under the UN "oil-for-food" program, the lifeline for 60 percent of the 25 million Iraqis before its suspension on March 17.

US President George W. Bush unveiled Tuesday a spending request of 74.7 billion dollars to cover the war's costs, including rewards to 19 key US allies in the Middle East and other partners in the global war on "terrorism."

If approved by Congress, Israel will receive the lion's share, with one billion dollars in military financing and additional loan guarantees of nine billion dollars.

Among the rewarded Arab states, Jordan stands to gain more than 1.1 billion dollars – 700 million to offset the economic effects of the war with neighboring Iraq and 406 million in military aid.

Jordan's economy is expected to suffer the most in the region for the duration of the war, as overland shipments of cut-price Iraqi oil stopped after war broke out on March 20, forcing the country to draw on its reserves.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said Tuesday the kingdom would provide Jordan with oil, but "not at preferential prices."

Egypt is set to receive 300 million dollars under the US war package to assist its economy with problems caused by the US-led war on Iraq, of which a portion could be used to secure up to two billion dollars in loan guarantees.[more]