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[Iraq_L] NEWS - Iraq says to work with Saudi on Gulf War missing

From: Anwar Al-Ghassani <>

01/09/2000 03:05:00 ET

Iraq says to work with Saudi on Gulf War missing
DOHA, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Iraq's foreign minister was quoted  on Sunday as
saying that Baghdad was ready to work with Saudi  Arabia and Kuwait to
determine the fate of hundreds of people  missing since the 1991 Gulf
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, on a visit to Qatar, also told the  United Arab
Emirates newspaper al-Bayan in an interview that  experts from Saudi Arabia
and Iraq may soon start work to  recover the remains of a Saudi pilot who
was buried in an Iraqi  minefield after his plane was shot down in 1991.

"Maybe soon, we will start some kind of cooperation with  Saudi Arabia,"
Sahaf said in the interview.  

He said that Iraq had informed Saudi Arabia through the  International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that it had  found the wreckage of a
Saudi warplane that was shot down in  1991 and that an Iraqi officer who
had buried the pilot's body  had also come forward.  

"This officer volunteered to go to that mined area again to  identify the
location where the pilot was buried," Sahaf said.  

Hundreds of people were reported missing after the 1990-91  Gulf War.
Kuwait says Iraq was holding some 600 of its nationals  prisoners in
Baghdad. Baghdad denies holding any foreign  prisoners but acknowledges
that there were people missing.  

"We did not keep any prisoners, whether from Kuwait or from  other
nationalities, because we have no interest in doing so and  because we
consider it a shame to do so," Sahaf said.  

"But the Kuwaitis deny that 1,150 Iraqis were missing in  Kuwait. We,
therefore, demand that Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia  cooperate under ICRC
supervision in accordance with United  Nations resolution 687 to find out
the fate of all missing  Iraqis, Saudis and Kuwaitis," he added.  

But he said Baghdad did not accept that the United States,  Britain or
France should sit in on the talks, saying that the  fate of people missing
from these countries had already been  resolved. He said these countries
had political motives for  participation in the talks.  

"We have discussed all these issues with them and we handed  them over
their prisoners and directed them to the bodies of  their (war) dead,"
Sahaf said. 

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