FAO Newsdesks - Friday 23 April 2004
Arms company sponsors conference to rebuild Iraq
LONDON, The Raytheon Corporation, which produced many of the bombs, cluster bomb weapons, missiles and weapons systems used against Iraq by the US and UK military  is sponsoring a conference for the reconstruction of the country in London, 26-28 April 2004 .
Andrew Wood from Campaign Against Arms Trade said, "Raytheon's sponsorship of the Iraq reconstruction conference beggars belief. It's through-and-through an arms company which indirectly was responsible for a large part of Iraq's destruction. What next? Raytheon sponsored artificial limbs for the victims of its cluster bomb weapons."
He added, "We're concerned that Raytheon's sponsorship is about currying favour for new weapons sales to Iraq. At this time Iraq needs to reconstruct its civil infrastructure and build capacity in civil society rather than creating another militarised state."
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 The Raytheon Corporation, which had 2003 sales of $18.1 billion (2002 sales of $16.7 billion), produced:
-More than 9,000 Paveway laser guided bombs used during the attack on Iraq.
-The Qatar headquarters used by General Tommy Franks during the attack on Iraq.
-Over 300 AGM-154 JSOW-A bombs, which each disperse 145 Cluster bombs, used in the attack on Iraq.
-The Patriot missile system used in the Iraq attack.
-Over 800 Tomahawk Cruise missiles used in the attack.
 The 'Iraq Procurement 2004 - Meet the Buyers' is being organised by the Arab-British Council. The conference sponsors include Raytheon, Marconi, Volvo, Pratt & Witney - all who manufacture weapons or weapons subsystems, as well as many oil companies amongst others. The website of the conference organisers, see www.iraqprocurement.com, says 'The reconstruction of Iraq is expected to cost in excess of $100 billion - at least half of figure will account for projects to be subcontracted to outside companies.' The conference 'is designed for one-to-one meetings, contract signing and forming buyer-supplier partnerships.' The conference venue is believed to be the London Hilton on Park Lane.