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I thought this might interest list members since it is often said in articles concerning sanctions that Kurdish leaders oppose the lifting of sanctions. Jalal Talabani clearly states both that sanctions must be lifted and Saddam removed. However, he is understandably critical of U.S. gestures in the latter direction which involve superficial support for political groups in exile and little substantive support for those operating within Iraq. The source is: http://come.to/kurdishmedia Ben Rempel *********************************************************** Talabani: US policies do not lead to the liberation of Iraq Kurdish Media - Sep 29, 1999 In an interview with Al-Zaman Newspaper (issue Sep 28,1999) Jalal Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), played down the role of the US administration in its approach to change the regime in Iraq. In reply to a question whether he agrees with the US foreign office initiative in bringing groups of Iraqi oppositions to New York, Talabani said, "coming to New York was not accomplished by American initiative alone, but achieved by the Iraqi oppositions initiative and originally we succeeded in it with the co-ordination of the 'Higher Islamic Committee for Islamic Revolution' and other Iraqi forces working in the homeland, including the Iraqi Communist Party and the "Movement of Islamic Unity in Kurdistan". Oppression of parts of Kurdistan under Saddam's control In this context Talabani said: "The meeting with Mrs Albright was clear and frank. We made it clear to her that the Iraqi people are suffering under the oppression, displacement and under the current depopulation of Kurds and Turkman from Khanaqeen, Kirkuk, Makhmoor and other parts of Kurdistan controlled by the Iraqi regime. We also expressed to Mrs Albright that the Iraqi people are suffering form the dictatorial policies implemented by the regime in Baghdad. We asked for the activation of the UN resolutions that are in favour of the Iraqi people and not just focusing on the resolutions that are related to the destruction of weaponry. We emphasize the importance of implementations of the UN resolution 688 that is emphasizing the human rights and the resolutions that relate to the oil-for-food programme in an appropriate manner that may serve the Iraqi people. In addition, we asked the end of the suffering of Iraqi people and removal of the sanctions on the Iraqi people and bypassing the regime in Baghdad. We asked her to send international missions to monitor the humanrights abuses. We found Mrs Albright responding very positively to all what we asked." Removing Saddam's regime In the context of American plan to remove Saddam from power,Talabani said, "...we are not against 'liberation of Iraq' but we object to the US policies that do not lead to the liberation of Iraq and we have expressed that the opposition groups that are based abroad cannot liberate Iraq." "The outside conspiracies cannot liberate Iraq and we believe that active oppositions should emanate from the homeland and should be ready for democratic changes in the Iraqi nation and not be a tool of outside conspiracies whether it is American or others." In reply to a question whether the PUK has received any help from the $97M allocated to the Iraqi oppositions by the US Congress, Talabani replied in a humorous manner, "thanks god we have not and we shall not receive a single dollar of this help." -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Please do not send emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***