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News clippings for 19 to 24 Oct, 1999.



News this week (19 to 24 Oct, 1999)
-----------------------------------

Interestingly, there is no news of bombings during the
last week.
 
*       Articles on, US Secretary of Defense, William
Cohen's middle-east tour have dominated the news wires
this week. Most of them are sprinkled with gung-ho
rhetoric from Cohen.

*       More news on the pope's visit. It seems likely that
his trip has been postponed until next year.

*       Iraq might buy sugar from Cuba.

*       There is also an interesting story about a group of
US senators who are suing the Clinton administration
for the bombing campaign of NATO. I have included the
story because this MIGHT have repercussions for the
bombing campaign against Iraq. 

Sources:        Reuters, AP, UPI, AFN and BBC.

It would be useful to print stories from a wider
variety of sources. Please send me any interesting
articles you find on Iraq that are not from Reuters or
AP. 

Thank you to Moonirah and Colin for assistance.

-----------------------------------
U.S. To Keep Up Pressure For Removal Of Saddam 
07:53 a.m. Oct 24, 1999 Eastern 
By Ashraf Fouad 
KUWAIT (Reuters) - Secretary of Defense William Cohen
Sunday called for agreement on a new draft U.N.
resolution that would ease sanctions on Iraq, but
vowed to keep up pressure for the removal of President
Saddam Hussein. 
Cohen also said the United States would upgrade three
Kuwaiti bases housing American forces to improve their
ability to conduct military operations against Iraq. 
``I spoke with the Emir (Kuwait's Sheikh Jaber
al-Ahmad al-Sabah) about the current situation at the
United Nations. 
``We agreed that the current British-Dutch draft
resolution offers an effective way to enable the U.N.
to resume its inspection program while continuing to
expand humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people,''
he added. 
U.N. arms inspections in Iraq ended in December when
the United States and Britain accused Baghdad of
failing to comply with the inspections regime and
launched air raids. The new resolution would suspend
sanctions in exchange for Baghdad's compliance with
arms inspections. 
``We hope for progress in New York and the Emir and I
totally agree there should be no change in our Iraqi
policy until Iraq complies with its obligations,'' he
added. 
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security
Council have been trying for months to reach an
agreement on the draft resolution. Iraq has said it
would reject any move to suspend rather than fully
lift the sanctions. 
Western diplomats said some Gulf Arab states and their
main ally the United States were hesitant to back a
resolution which does not include measures to
``punish'' Iraq if it fails to meet the terms of the
new resolution. 
When asked if Washington was seeking to add to the
draft resolution a clear option to use force in case
of Iraqi failure to comply, Cohen said: 
``We believe that the current proposal... has the best
chance for gaining approval. 
``But unless that resolution or something very close
to that resolution is adopted then we will maintain
the existing sanctions and no-fly zone. 
``I will not say at this point what we are reserving.
We are going to be supporting the proposal.'' 
Cohen, who later flew to Jordan, discussed with Gulf
Arab leaders U.S. support for a coalition of Iraqi
opposition groups and the possibility of securing
similar financial and other backing from regional
states, diplomats said. 
Cohen vowed to maintain pressure on Iraq to ``continue
to contain Saddam Hussein...until such time when the
Iraqi people have an opportunity to have new
leadership. We hope that will be sooner rather than
later.'' 
The U.S. military bases in Kuwait, which was freed
from a seven-month Iraqi occupation by the U.S.-led
1991 Gulf War, are to be upgraded at a cost of $193
million. 
``We hope to upgrade the bases here so that they could
accommodate aircraft and other elements in the event
of a contingency and emergency,'' Cohen said, adding
that Kuwait would share part of the cost. 
U.S. ground forces in Kuwait operate out of Camp Doha
which is also a warehouse for pre-positioned heavy
military equipment. U.S. warplanes, which fly regular
missions over southern Iraq, operate out of two
Kuwaiti air bases. 

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication and redistribution of Reuters content is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent
of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors
or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in
reliance thereon.
-----------------------------------
Baghdad sends 3 mln textbooks to Kurdish region 
10:09 a.m. Oct 24, 1999 Eastern 
BAGHDAD, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Baghdad has sent three
million textbooks to the northern Kurdish region,
which has been outside Baghdad's control since the
1991 Gulf War, an Iraqi newspaper said on Sunday. 
``The Ministry of Education sent on Sunday a fleet of
trucks laden with three million copies of textbooks to
schools in the Arbil, Duhok, and Suleimaniya provinces
in the autonomy region of Kurdistan,'' said the ruling
Baath Party's newspaper al-Thawra. 
The paper said the shipment, which contained books for
all school levels, was made upon President Saddam
Hussein's instructions. 
The Kurds rose up against the government in Baghdad
after the Gulf War, which forced out Iraqi troops that
had been occupying Kuwait. Since then, the Kurds have
been protected in their northern enclave by U.S. and
British air cover. 
Iraq has made several overtures to the Kurds to come
to Baghdad to hold dialogues in order to settle
differences. 

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication and redistribution of Reuters content is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent
of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors
or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in
reliance thereon.
---------------------------------------------
Cohen Visits Troops Who Do Iraq No-Fly Zone Patrols 
04:30 p.m Oct 23, 1999 Eastern 
By Tabassum Zakaria 
KUWAIT (Reuters) - Defense Secretary William Cohen who
has been discussing U.S. policy of ``containment'' on
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein throughout a visit to
the Middle East, met Saturday with the American forces
that carry it out from the aircraft carrier USS
Constellation in the Gulf. 
``Like a policeman on a beat, you're doing a job,''
Cohen said. ``You are making sure Saddam Hussein
doesn't get too anxious again to invade Kuwait.'' 
American planes fly from the aircraft carrier and from
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to patrol the no-fly zones in
southern Iraq created by the Western alliance that
ejected Iraqi troops who invaded Kuwait in August
1990. 
Iraq does not recognize the no-fly zones over its
south and north that were imposed by the West to
protect Saddam's domestic opponents. Iraqi state media
Friday described U.S. policy as an ''illusory goal of
containing and encircling Iraq with the aim of
changing its government.'' 
Cohen Saturday met with Kuwait's Emir Sheikhh Jaber
al- Ahmad al-Sabah, Crown Prince Sheikhh Saad
al-Abdulla al-Sabah and Defense Minister Sheikhh Salem
Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah. 
``The Kuwaitis like us to be clear that we are
containing Saddam and the secretary (Cohen) had a long
discussion where he explained about the containment
policy, that we were containing him in the north and
in the south,'' a senior U.S. defense official
travelling with Cohen said. 
``There are a lot of Kuwaitis, I think you can imagine
for historical reasons, that would be only too happy
to have strong action taken against Saddam,'' the
official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
``And there was some suggestion that they're always
happy to have that done, but they are supportive of
the current (U.S.) policy and the Emir was very clear
that he liked the current policy,'' the official said.

Asked whether Kuwait pressed the United States to
support Iraqi opposition by providing lethal
assistance, the official restated the U.S. stance that
it wants the opposition to become a viable ``political
voice'' and that Kuwait did not raise that issue this
time. 
There are plans to upgrade the bases where U.S. Air
Force and Army forces are located in Kuwait and to
establish a permanent Army headquarters for better
coordination with U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia and in
the United States for quick response if conflict
flares up in the region, the defense official said. 
Kuwait approved establishing the Army headquarters in
August, viewing it ``as another way of demonstrating
that we'll be here in the region on a continuous
basis,'' the official said. 
The upgrades to facilities used by U.S. armed forces
would include improved hangars for U.S. warplanes and
better maintenance, as well as permanent facilities
for the Army, the official said. ``It'll all get done
over the next several years. They're (Kuwait)
supportive of that.'' 
The facilities to be upgraded are at Ali Al-Salim Air
Base where the United States wants to improve the
ability to support more aircraft to allow more planes
to move into the region if necessary. 
At Al-Jaber the focus would be on creating a logistics
hub, and at Camp Doha to establish the command,
control and communications elements of the Army
headquarters. 
Construction for the three projects was estimated to
cost about $193 million, but it was unclear how that
would be divided between the United States and Kuwait,
U.S. defense officials said. 
Cohen also spoke to Kuwaiti officials about Chechnya
and told them ``we were looking for ways to cooperate
with the Russians on that kind of counter-terrorist
issue, and that we have had some talks with them but
we haven't had any concrete results yet,'' the senior
U.S. defense official said. 

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication and redistribution of Reuters content is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent
of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors
or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in
reliance thereon.

-----------------------------------------------
Saturday, October 23, 1999 Published at 22:59 GMT
23:59 UK (from the BBC)
US forces upgraded in Kuwait 
A United States Defence department official has said
that the US is to upgrade its airforce and army bases
in Kuwait with the aim of increasing pressure on the
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussain. 
The official -- who was accompanying the Defence
Secretary, William Cohen, on a tour of the Gulf --
said the bases would be enlarged and modernised to
cater for more planes and better maintenance
facilities. 
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said
the project -- the cost of which is estimated at
one-hundred-and-ninety-three-million dollars -- would
also include the establishment of a permanent army
headquarters. Meanwhile, Mr Cohen told American
marines stationed on an aircraft carrier in the Gulf,
the USS Constellation, that their job was to make sure
Saddam Hussein never dared invade Kuwait again. United
States warplanes regularly fly from Kuwait to patrol a
no-fly zone in southern Iraq, which was established
after the Gulf War in 1991. 
----------------------------------------------
Cohen Arab tour part of election drive-Iraqi media 
05:14 a.m. Oct 22, 1999 Eastern 
BAGHDAD, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Iraqi state media on
Friday dismissed the current Middle East tour of U.S.
Defence Secretary William Cohen as an election-driven
junket that could not mask Washington's failure to
topple President Saddam Hussein. 
``If we take into consideration the atmosphere of the
coming U.S. presidential elections, the present
administration has built its foreign policy on the
illusory goal of containing and encircling Iraq with
the aim of changing its government,'' said Al-Thawra,
mouthpiece of Iraq's ruling Baath party. 
Thawra also said Cohen's tour was meant to suck
significant new oil revenues out of the Gulf states by
persuading them to buy U.S. weapons. 
``After the oil price boost.. Gulf oil revenues are
supposed to be withdrawn and transferred into American
banks once again through new arms bargains,'' Thawra
added. 
The Baath party organ also said Cohen had got
assurances from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia of continued
bases for U.S. and British forces which provide the
planes that patrol the no-fly zone in southern Iraq.
The zone was imposed by the West after the 1991 Gulf
War to help protect Saddam's domestic opponents. 
Al-Iraq, mouthpiece of the pro-government Kurds, said
Cohen's tour was meant to build up Arab support for
U.S. policy towards Iraq and help maintain U.S. forces
in the Gulf. 
Cohen arrived in Cairo on Thursday for two days of
talks with staunch U.S. ally President Hosni Mubarak
and senior officials on the subjects of Iraq, Iran and
the U.S. military presence in the region. 
Those have been the broad themes of Cohen's
nine-nation tour of the Middle East that has already
taken in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 
Cohen is also due to visit Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and
Israel. 

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication and redistribution of Reuters content is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent
of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors
or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in
reliance thereon.
------------------------------------
Oct 22
NATO Bombing Critics Seek Lawsuit 
By BART JANSEN
Associated Press Writer 
WASHINGTON (AP)  A federal appeals court heard
arguments Friday that President Clinton exceeded his
authority in participating in the NATO bombing of
Yugoslavia. Congressional litigants called the case
the best chance yet to define the authority to declare
war. 
The 31 lawmakers who brought the case argued that
Clinton violated the 1973 War Powers Act because
Congress refused to authorize the bombing. The Vietnam
War-era legislation, which has been ignored by
presidents of both parties, requires congressional
approval for ``introduction into hostilities'' of U.S.
forces lasting more than 60 days. 
A judge threw out the case in June without deciding
its merits. U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman
said the lawmakers lacked the standing to sue because
they failed to show a genuine impasse between the
president and Congress in the matter. 
Lawmakers led by Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Calif., asked a
three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia to reverse Friedman's decision.
The military example in Yugoslavia is considered the
best chance to clarify congressional power, because
the bombing lasted 2 1/2 months and followed two
congressional votes that opposed the action. 
``Here, they flagrantly ignored it,'' Jules Lobel, a
lawyer representing the lawmakers, said of the
administration. ``The question here is since Congress
stepped up to the plate and performed its duty, will
the courts do so.'' 
But the judges appeared skeptical that courts could
rule over whether military actions fit the definition
of a war, citing military actions in Korea and Iraq. 
``You're putting a lot of pressure on the judiciary,''
Judge Laurence Silberman told the lawmakers. 
Justice Department lawyers led by William Schultz
argued that the courts have no business ruling in
disputes between Congress and the president, except in
procedural conflicts such as whether a bill was
properly vetoed. 
The case filed April 30 argues that a 213-213 vote two
days earlier killed a request to authorize U.S.
participation in NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Another
vote rejected a declaration of war. The bombing had
begun March 24. 
Friedman said Congress sent ``distinctly mixed
messages'' by also defeating a bill that would have
removed U.S. troops from Yugoslavia. 
Several lawmakers who attended the hearing said the
case offers the clearest example of whether Congress
can rein in a president over military actions. 
``I would say you will never have a clearer case,''
Campbell said after the hearing. 
Others complained that options such as impeachment or
withholding funds are impractical in opposing a
military action, especially if troops are already
deployed. 
----------------------------------
Iraq to install first Chinese gas turbine - paper 
05:35 a.m. Oct 22, 1999 Eastern 
BAGHDAD, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Iraq will install next
month a Chinese gas turbine, the first of a number to
arrive in Iraq under its oil-for-food deal with the
United Nations, a newspaper reported on Friday. 
``The technical and engineering staff at the
Electricity Authority is to install next month the
first Chinese gas unit imported within the memorandum
of understanding,'' official Al-Thawra said. 
Iraqis -- hard-hit by U.N. trade sanctions imposed for
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 -- are
struggling to cope with chronic power cuts caused by
lack of spare parts for generators. 
The United Nations oil-for-food deal allows Iraq to
sell specified quantities of oil to buy food, medicine
and other necessities, with the aim of offsetting the
effects of the stringent sanctions. 
Thawra said the turbine, to be installed in the
northern province of Ta'mim, 255 kilometres (160
miles) north of Baghdad, had a generating capacity of
37 megawatts. 
The paper said this unit, the first of six bought
under a contract signed with China last August, would
be operational before the end of the year. 
On Wednesday, the Al-I'Lam weekly said a Japanese
electricity generator, which would help renovate an
Iraqi power station, had arrived in Baghdad. 
It said Japanese experts arrived with the 300-tonne
Hitachi-made generator M-V-A 400 and some accessories.

Iraq's power stations were heavily bombed by U.S.-led
multinational forces which evicted Iraqi troops from
Kuwait in 1991. The country suffered no blackouts in
the first three years after the war but cuts have
increased recently. 
Power outages now last up to 10 hours a day, halting
air conditioning units in a country where summer
temperatures soar above 45 Celsius (115 Fahrenheit). 
In Baghdad, outages take place according to a
timetable announced in advance. Cuts in the capital's
various districts are carried out in rotation. 
Iraqi officials say power-generating systems are
working at less than half capacity, and say even that
level would be unsustainable if spare parts purchased
under the oil-for-food deal do not arrive in time. 
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report to
the Security Council in May that while the oil deal
had helped in improving power output, ``the overall
increase at the level of the national grid has been
negligible.'' 
Only $87 million worth of spare parts for power
generators had been distributed or installed in the
centre and south of Iraq, Annan said. 

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication and redistribution of Reuters content is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent
of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors
or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in
reliance thereon.
------------------
Iraq may buy Cuba sugar, medicines under U.N. deal 
10:22 a.m. Oct 22, 1999 Eastern 
HAVANA, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Iraq is exploring the
possibility of buying medicines and sugar from Cuba
under the Gulf state's oil-for-food deal with the
United Nations, Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi
Saleh said. 
``We think there are major opportunities to begin
cooperation between Cuba and Iraq, especially in the
field of food and medicines,'' Saleh told reporters
late Thursday after talks in Havana with Cuban
officials. 
He added Iraq was particularly interested in
purchasing Cuban sugar and Cuban-produced medicines
and medical equipment under the U.N. oil-for-food
deal. 
U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion
of Kuwait ban Baghdad from freely exporting or
importing commodities. But since the end of 1996, the
United Nations has allowed Iraq to sell limited
quantities of crude oil to buy food and medicines. 
Saleh said that if Iraq decided to buy from Cuba,
payments would be made to the communist-ruled
Caribbean island in cash and not oil despite its
severe energy shortages. 
But he said it was too early to estimate what such
purchases could be, adding that Cuba would be
competing with other countries in terms of the prices
and goods offered. 
Cuban President Fidel Castro's government fiercely
condemned the U.S.-led 1991 Gulf War against Iraq.
Cuban doctors served in Iraqi hospitals during the
war, and a Cuban medical brigade has continued to work
there. 
Saleh blamed Washington for the continuing U.N.
sanctions against his country. ``The United States
wants to stop us even having air with which to
breath,'' he said. 
The sanctions, he added, were an attempt by what he
called the ``imperialist'' West to destroy Iraq's
military power and industrial base. 

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication and redistribution of Reuters content is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent
of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors
or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in
reliance thereon.
------------------------------------
Friday, October 22, 1999 Published at 02:52 GMT 03:52
UK (From the BBC)
Top brass visit war games 
The United States Defence Secretary, William Cohen,
and his British counterpart, Geoffrey Hoon, are
attending the climax of military exercises off the
coast of Egypt. 
More than 70,000 troops from some 11 countries have
been taking part in the exercise called Bright Star. 
A BBC correspondent in the area says the exercises,
which are held every two years, has consolidated
Egypt's position as one of Washington's strategic
partners in the region. 
The exercise is being watched by other defence
ministers and senior diplomats. 
It has been held every other year since 1981 and is
the largest multinational exercises in the world. 
Egypt contributes 36,000 troops, the US 18,000 and
Britain 6,500. France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the
Netherlands, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab
Emirates are also involved. 
Among the big set-pieces will be an amphibious landing
involving a joint British-Dutch force. 
-------------------------------------
VATICAN CITY, Oct 21 (AFP) - Pope John Paul II's visit
to Iraq, originally envisaged for early December, may
be postponed until next year but will definitely go
ahead, Vatican sources said Thursday. "The pope will
definitely visit Iraq, even though the date of this
pilgrimage has still not been set," the head of the
Vatican college for eastern churches Cardinal Achille
Silvestrini said Thursday. On Wednesday he met at the
Vatican with the Chaldean patriarch Raphael Bidawid,
who is playing a key role in arranging the visit. It
was Bidawid who announced last month that the pope
planned to visit Iraq December 2-5 as part of a
regional tour, but the Vatican never confirmed the
dates. Vatican sources said it would now be very
difficult to make arrangements for a trip at that
time. Dates in mid-January, just before the pontiff's
planned trip to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, or in
March are being considered as alternatives. Father
Roberto Tucci, responsible for the pope's travel
arrangements, was expected to visit Iraq on November
5-9, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro said. Britain
and the United States have both expressed reservations
about any visit to Iraq, fearing that President Saddam
Hussein might use it for political advantage. Iraqi
intellectuals have said that the pope's visit to the
sanctions-hit country would not go smoothly if the
Catholic church continued to side with the West, the
official Iraqi news agency reported. UN economic
embargoes have been in force since Iraq invaded Kuwait
in 1990, and the United States and Britain carry out
almost daily air raids during patrols of no-fly zones
over northern and southern Iraq. The highlight of the
pope's visit would be a pilgrimage to Ur, the Biblical
home of Abraham, in southern Iraq. 
------------------------------------------
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- An Iraqi weekly
newspaper said Thursday more than a million Iraqis
died since the United Nations imposed economic
sanctions on the Arab country to punish it for the
1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait. Al-Zawraa
newspaper said official statistics showed that the
number of people who died because of the U.N.
sanctions reached 1,190,089 from 1990 until July of
this year. It said the deaths were caused by
illnesses, including tumors, malnutrition, blood
pressure, heart disease, diabetes and diarrhea as well
as pulmonary and respiratory problems. It noted that
102,625 deaths were registered during the first seven
months of this year while 8,966 people, including
6,569 children under the age of five, died during the
month of September. Iraq, which has been under
economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations since
1990, repeatedly demanded the complete lifting of the
embargo, arguing that it has implemented all U.N.
resolutions and that the U.N. oil-for-food deal was
not helping end the suffering of the Iraqi people. A
UNICEF survey has recently warned of a ``humanitarian
emergency'' in Iraq, saying the mortality rate for
children under 5 increased through the 1990s from 56
deaths per 1,000 live births to 131 in
government-controlled central and southern regions. 
---------------------------
Tuesday October 19 11:56 AM ET  U.S. Discusses Gulf
Regional Deterrent By Tabassum Zakaria  RIYADH
(Reuters) - Secretary of Defense William Cohen said
Tuesday he was discussing with Gulf Arab states the
development of a regional deterrent against potential
threats from Iraq and Iran.  ``We discussed concrete
steps on a cooperative defense initiative and military
planning for a regional deterrent,'' Cohen told
reporters in the Qatar capital, Doha.  ``We are here
to serve as a deterrent whether it is against  Iran or
Iraq. Our presence sends a strong signal to them not
to attack the Gulf states,'' he added.  Cohen arrived
in the Gulf Monday as part of a nine-nation regional
tour that would also take him to Israel and Egypt. He
left Doha for Saudi Arabia after talks with Qatar's
Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.  The U.S.
official said the region still faced threats from Iraq
and Iran and the proliferation of arms, including
chemical and biological weapons.  The idea of a
cooperative defense initiative was intended to develop
a regional deterrent against these dangers, he said
without elaborating.  Cohen in March offered to share
American monitoring of any Iranian and Iraqi missile
tests with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC).  Cohen denied reports that the United States
was planning to cut the number of its troops in the
Gulf but said General Anthony Zinni, commander in
chief of U.S. Central Command which overseas the Gulf
area, was working on a plan to spread American forces
across the region to reduce the burden on host
countries.  Zinni added that the U.S. might deploy
more military equipment to the Gulf area to stand at
the ready should a conflict erupt, although the plan
had not been finalized.  The equipment would be on
barges ready for use. The United States already has
military equipment propositioned in this way on land
in Kuwait and Qatar and on ships.  U.S. Troops
Operating Equipment  If a conflict erupted, the United
States could send troops in to operate the tanks,
artillery and armored personnel carriers that would
already be in the Gulf region.  ``If we had a
situation that required force, we could use the ground
prepositioning and the float prepositioning ... and
then the troops come by air and join up with their
equipment,'' Zinni said.  In Saudi Arabia Cohen had
lunch and a meeting with Saudi Defense Minister Prince
Sultan at his farm in the desert.  The Defense
Secretary said the United States still saw Saudi
Arabian dissident Osama bin Laden as a threat and
hoped Saudi authorities would exert pressure on
Afghan's Taliban movement and others to help turn him
over to U.S. authorities.''  The United States blames
bin Laden for planning the bombings of two U.S.
embassies in East Africa last year.  Cohen said the
U.S. might show ``some flexibility'' toward expanding
the United Nations' oil-for-food program for Iraq, but
he reiterated that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was
to blame for the sufferings of the Iraqi people. 
``Saddam Hussein must take responsibility for the
misery of the Iraqi people. He has been controlling
all supplies and denying them to his people,'' Cohen
said.  Cohen said the U.S. was keen to see a change of
regime in Baghdad. ``But it has to come from within
the Iraqi people,'' he said. 
---------------------------


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