EC leaders back plan to create Kurdish 'haven'

April 09, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

LUXEMBOURG -- The leaders of the 12-nation European Community agreed last night to support a British proposal calling for the United Nations to create a "safe haven" in northern Iraq to protect the Kurdish population from the Iraqi army.

[The EC also approved $183 million in humanitarian aid to the Kurds and other refugees fleeing Iraqi repression, the Associated Press reported.]

British Prime Minister John Major offered his surprise proposal for the haven at a European Community summit meeting here without consulting President Bush, but he said he thought Washington would approve it.

The plan, urging quick action to safeguard the lives of Kurdish refugees, is expected to be presented to the U.N. Security Council soon.

The plan by Mr. Major envisages U.N. civilian or military personnel creating a zone in northern Iraq as a shelter for the million or so Kurdish refugees who have fled their homes as the Iraqi army advanced to put down an uprising against Baghdad.

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