Sanctions should hit rulers, not local people, says Annan

BUDAPEST, Jul 2, 2000 -- (AFP) UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Friday that sanctions imposed against pariah nations should be better targeted so as not to affect local populations.

"In the future we can make the sanctions more focused, more targeted against the leaders whose behaviors we want to change ... (and) not to cause harm to the population," Annan told a press conference here.

He said the sanctions against Iraq and Yugoslavia aggravated the situation for local people but had little effect on the regimes in power.

On the other hand he judged the humanitarian "oil-for-food" program, which allows Iraq to sell oil in return for humanitarian aid under strict UN control, as positive.

Annan is on a two-day visit to Budapest, during which he was due Friday to meet Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

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