Al-Jalabi TV stopped as American financing suspended
Iraq-USA, Politics, 5/2/2002
The television Liberty TV of the opposition Iraqi National Congress, chaired by the Ahmad al-Jalabi was stopped on Wednesday because no further financial aid voted for by the US congress were paid out by the US State Department since February this year, the opposition group announced in a statement from London.
Al-Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein, a member on the board of the Iraqi National Congress, said that "while the US congress voted for special assets to broadcast towards the Iraqi people, the US State Department did not pay the money for the Liberty TV and therefore it is difficult for us to pay our bills." He added that despite the repeated guarantees from the Bush administration concerning its total confidence dedicated to the role played by the congress, especially Liberty TV, the US state department did not pay necessary sums at a time the number of viewers of this TV are increasing.
He added that Liberty TV is an important element in the strategy of the Iraqi opposition with the aim of ending Iraqi presidend Saddam Hussein's control over the Iraqi mass media.
The US State Department said yesterday "about $15 million of funding that we provided to date to the Iraqi National Congress, something like 5 million of that was devoted to support the operations of Liberty TV. We fully funded that program, including the Liberty TV part of it, earlier this year. We anticipate providing additional funding as soon as grant negotiations are successfully concluded. We have been in the process of negotiating a new grant agreement with the Iraqi National Congress. That process has been complicated by ongoing problems in the Iraqi National Congress' financial management practices. Those issues remain important to us and we are working with them to resolve the problems as soon as possible so that we can sign a new grant."
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