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Copyright 1999 Deutsche Presse-Agentur Deutsche Presse-Agentur January 28, 1999, Thursday, BC Cycle 15:53 Central European Time SECTION: International News LENGTH: 314 words HEADLINE: Saudi Arabia opposes change in Iraq being imposed from abroad DATELINE: Riyadh BODY: Saudi Arabia believes that any change in the Iraqi regime must not be imposed from abroad, a responsible Saudi source said in remarks published Thursday. "The kingdom does not believe or support that any foreign power should change the regime in Iraq because such a change must come from within and should only be conducted by the Iraqi people," said the source - who was not identified - as quoted in the Saudi papers Okaz and al Jazira. The remarks were published on the last day of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who met with King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah to exchange views on Washington's plans to contain the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states do not trust the Iraqi regime... which is like a poisonous dagger ready to attack any Gulf state if it regains its military force," said the official. The GCC is made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 until a coalition of forces led by the U.S. put an end to the occupation seven months later. "The kingdom does not support military action (against Iraq)... It regrets the unjust Iraqi charges against the kingdom," the official added. Saudi Arabia, which has been the target of violent verbal threats from Iraq, has proposed an initiative for a partial lifting of U.N. economic sanctions imposed on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait. Baghdad has accused Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of siding with the U.S. and Britain during the latest strikes on Iraq. Last Monday and Tuesday American warplanes struck Iraqi targets in the no-fly zones in the south and north of the country. Iraq said 24 people were killed in the southern city of Basra and its vicinity, according to latest accounts published Thursday by the Iraqi press. dpa str ap ba LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: January 28, 1999 ***************************************************************** Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse Agence France Presse February 02, 1999 11:31 GMT SECTION: International news LENGTH: 595 words HEADLINE: US envoy hits flak near end of anti-Saddam tour BODY: ABU DHABI, Feb 2 (AFP) - US Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk ran into resistance Tuesday near the end of a Gulf tour to drum up regional support for a campaign to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Both Qatar's Sultan Qaboos and newspapers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) strongly criticized the US campaign, while a Saudi daily also said Gulf states had a different stand from the United States. Indyk held talks in Abu Dhabi with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan ibn Zayed al-Nahayan, officials said. He was to meet the UAE's defence minister, Sheikh Mohammad ibn Rashid al-Maktoum, later in Dubai. Near the end of a five-country tour which started last Saturday in Bahrain, Oman's official news agency ONA said that Sultan Qaboos, who met Indyk late Monday in Muscat, voiced opposition to meddling in Iraq's internal affairs. "Sultan Qaboos examined with Mr. Martin Indyk the developments in the Iraq crisis and how to resolve it," the agency said. Muscat is "opposed to any interference in the internal affairs of others and is working to secure a lifting of the embargo and to alleviate the sufferings of the Iraqi people," the Omani ruler said. Indyk, who has also visited Qatar and Kuwait on the heels of a Riyadh visit by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, said he was seeking a three-way partnership to oust Saddam. The partnership would bring together the Iraqi people, Iraq's neighbours and the United States, he told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas. Saudi Arabia, the leading power among the Gulf monarchies, told Albright last week that "changes in Iraq have to come from within," a stand which US officials have said they support. However, Okaz newspaper in Riyadh said Tuesday there was a difference between Washington and Gulf states over "the manner in which the Iraqi regime is to be overthrown." And in the UAE, newspapers criticized the US campaign and warned it posed a "danger" to the whole region because it was unpredictable what sort of new regime could emerge in Baghdad. "The danger lies in the fact ... that it constitutes a precedent which will allow the United States to interfere and overthrow any Arab regime which it doesn't like," said Al-Khaleej daily. Such a state of affairs would be an insult to "Arab dignity and pride." It also warned that "a change of Iraqi regime would have (unforeseen) consequences for the Arab world and the Gulf." The semi-official Al-Ittihad said the Arab world would like to see the United States abandon its policy of "double standards" when dealing with Iraq and Israel. Meanwhile, Iraq itself called on Gulf states to reject the "American plot." "Countries which say they have no intention of plotting against Iraq should translate their rejection of the American plot into action," said an official spokesman in Baghdad. Al-Iraq newspaper said "the dreams of the Americans and their allies, and the sick fantasies of Saudi and Kuwaiti leaders, are all in vain." The Qatari newspaper Ash-Sharq said Monday it was "stupefied" by Indyk's campaign and that the United States was acting just as badly as the Iraqi leader by flagrantly calling for his overthrow. "On what law or international convention is Mr. Indyk basing" his campaign? asked the newspaper, which reflects official thinking in the Gulf state. Gulf states have been reluctant to openly back the US campaign, while a Shiite Moslem opposition group and Iraqi Kurdish faction have turned down offers of military aid from the United States. bur/hc/cl LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: February 02, 1999 ***************************************************************** Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse Agence France Presse February 03, 1999 11:40 GMT SECTION: International news LENGTH: 735 words HEADLINE: US anti-Saddam envoy warned against unleashing civil war in Iraq BODY: By Barry Parker DUBAI, Feb 3 (AFP) - A top US envoy wrapped up a topple Saddam Hussein tour of the Gulf on Wednesday with a warning ringing in his ears of grave dangers posed by the American plot against Baghdad. And in the Iraqi capital itself, a senior official dubbed the mission by US Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk a "failure." Indyk's five-nation swing met a sobering end when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) defence minister pointed out the risks of Washington's much-vaunted policy to overthrow the Iraqi regime. Sheikh Mohammad ibn Rashid al-Maktoum "voiced his reservations about the American stand," said the official news agency WAM. "Any political change in Iraq brought about from the outside would lead to division and civil war," he noted. Iraq believes stepped-up air strikes on Iraq followed the failure of efforts to muster Gulf support for the plot. Escalation was "the direct result of the failure of the United States to intensify their plots against Iraq," said Salah al-Mukhtar, a newly-appointed Iraqi ambassador. Indyk and his boss, Madeleine Albright, who visited Riyadh last week, "failed to secure backing for the US plans" to overthrow Saddam, he told AFP. "That's why they have resorted to an escalation." On Tuesday, US and British warplanes attacked air defense sites in southern Iraq after coming under fire and an Iraqi anti-ship missile battery also came under attack, a new target for the coalition raids. US warplanes, responding to increased Iraqi defiance of the northern and southern exclusion zones, have carried out nearly daily attacks since a US-British air war on December 16-20. Indyk left saying he had forged a Gulf-wide "consensus." Regional leaders and the United States agreed action rather than talk was needed against Saddam, he told a press conference Tuesday night. "Leaders here argue strongly that change needs to come from within Iraq and we agree with that," he said. "They also made clear to us that they prefer that we talk less and do more, and we agreed with that," he said. "Our purpose is to support the people of Iraq in their efforts to change the regime." The Emirati daily al-Khaleej was equally clear in urging opposition to the US plans which it said were a "dangerous precedent ... a flagrant violation of the UN charter and international resolutions on Iraq which give no one carte blanche to overthrow the Iraqi regime." Al-Khaleej, which is close to the government, urged a united Arab position "to cut short the United States attempt to fish in murky waters." Indyk was repeatedly told by Emirati officials "the clear position of the Emirates which refuse any meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq and believe that any change should come from the Iraqi people alone," Al-Khaleej said. Publicly, Indyk gave an assurance that "we will not seek to impose our will on Iraq nor will we seek to impose an outside opposition on the Iraqi people." Most Gulf leaders agreed, he said, over the "continuing danger Saddam Hussein poses ... (and) the need to take care of the basic needs of the Iraqi people while maintaining sanctions." He said there was also consensus that Saddam "has been significantly weakened and an oppportunity does exist" to remove him. Indyk visited Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman as well as the UAE. His open calls to oust the Baghdad regime also met resistance in Oman and Qatar where newspapers slammed the campaign. Sultan Qaboos, who met Indyk late Monday in Muscat, said he was "opposed to any interference in the internal affairs of others." The Omani ruler wanted an end to the eight-year embargo and a better life for Iraqis. By the end of the tour Indyk appeared to tone down the overthrow calls and put the accent on the role of the Iraqi people, together with Iraq's neighbours and the United States. He reiterated a triple approach to Iraq based on restoration of consensus in the Security Council, expanding the UN relief programme and work to change the Baghdad regime. Meanwhile, Kuwait, the only country not to criticise Indyk's tour, ruled out the use of its territory for military training of Iraq's opposition. The State Department has denied a Kuwaiti newspaper report of US plans to set up camps in Iraq's neigbouring countries to train opposition fighters for a 10,000-strong "Iraqi Liberation Army". bur/bp/hc/cl LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: February 03, 1999 ----------------------------------------------- FREE! The World's Best Email Address @email.com Reserve your name now at http://www.email.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk