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Iraq To Issue First New Stamps Since Saddam Hussein Regime

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2004 – Iraqi letters and packages soon will feature updated postage stamps without the face of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

The new stamps will be issued Jan. 15, Dan Senor, senior Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman, told reporters during a Jan. 10 press conference in Baghdad. L. Paul Bremer III, administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, plans to send a short note to President Bush in an envelope bearing a new Iraqi stamp.

Haydar al-Abadi, the Iraqi minister of communication, and Iraqi Postmaster General Ibraheem Kuhdair announced the new stamp that day, Senor said. The new stamp will be the first Iraqi postal stamp issued since the April 9, 2003, fall of Saddam Hussein's government, the U.S. official pointed out.

Five million new stamps, Senor said, will become available for purchase at post offices across Iraq starting Jan. 15.

The updated stamps depict images of old-fashioned Iraqi transportation. The new, first-to-be-issued 100-dinar stamp, for example, shows an Iraqi being transported via horse-drawn carriage. Additional stamp designs with different denominations, Senor said, will debut in the weeks and months ahead.

Senor said about 80 percent of the 275 Iraqi post offices that were operational before the war are again open for business. And Iraq and Kuwait recently signed a contract to exchange international mail, Senor pointed out, the first such agreement made between the two nations since the 1991 Gulf War.

Almost the entire Iraqi postal system work force about 3,000 employees had returned to work by the end of July, Senor said.

In the months ahead, Senor noted, the new Iraqi postal system will develop a postal code system and digitized services through the implementation of new technology.

Senor said Ambassador

About 90 percent of the postage stamps issued by the deposed regime were destroyed because they featured images of Saddam Hussein, according to a CPA news release.

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