- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 25, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The U.S. Postal Service has resumed mail service to Iraq.

Mail to Iraq was limited to air-mail letters last year because of the disruption caused by the change in government after the ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein.

Ray Murphy, a New York postal employee, led a team working with the Iraqi postal administration on restoring postal service, postal officials said yesterday.

Mail service, including parcels, was resumed after Mr. Murphy reported that Iraq now can receive and deliver mail, Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan said.

Mr. Murphy said in a recent interview that circumstances were grim for the mail when his five-member team arrived there six months ago. Domestic mail that once took weeks to reach its destination is now getting delivered in days, and the time for international deliveries has been reduced from months to weeks.

Mr. Murphy said the economic neglect during the last 30 years was “horrifying,” and the system had deteriorated so much under Saddam’s government that a letter from abroad took three to six months to arrive.

The team found that of 375 post offices, 275 were functioning with limited coverage. Only an estimated 13 percent of Iraqis use the mail system.

Mr. Murphy’s team helped establish postal codes to improve speed and reliability and negotiated with the Universal Postal Union to get Iraq full voting-member status. The organization coordinates postal policies among its 189 member nations.


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