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PM stands by Natwar, says UN report 'insufficient'

Source: PTI
October 30, 2005 17:02 IST
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Fully backing his External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday that the facts mentioned in the UN inquiry into Iraq's oil-for-food programme were 'insufficient'" to arrive at any 'adverse conclusion' against him.

Dr Singh said so after the External Affairs Minister met him on his return from Moscow, his Media Advisor Sanjaya Baru said in a statement.

Natwar Singh categorically denied any involvement in the alleged illicit payments on oil transactions under the oil-for-food programme as stated by the UN Independent Inquiry Volcker Committee, Baru said.

"Dr Singh agreed that the facts mentioned in Table-3 of the report of the Independent Inquiry Committee are insufficient to arrive at any adverse conclusion against the External Affairs and stands by him," the Media Advisor said.

The UN Committee, headed by Paul Volcker, had, in its report, named Natwar Singh and Congress among the beneficiaries in the Iraqi oil sales in 2001.

Outraged by what he termed as 'baseless and untrue' allegations, the minister had said that it was part of the campaign to malign the Congress and its senior leaders. 'I am deeply shocked and outraged by these allegations which are baseless and untrue,' Singh said in a statement on Saturday.

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