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Dear List, The following article appeared today in Al-Quds Al-Arabi which is published in London. I have translated it for you, because I think it is an importnant one, and confirms previous information on this subject I have posted before. HZ --------------------------------------------------- >From Al-Quds Al-Arabi Issue 4205 Friday 22 November 2002 (Translated from Arabic) The delegation of the delegation of the opposition Iraqi National Alliance gets ready to meet Saddam: Committees to draft a new Iraqi constitution.. and a law for political multilateralism Preparations continue for war and ten million Iraqis armed Baghdad/ Al-Quds Al-Arabi Abdul-Jabbar al-Kubaisy, the leader of the Iraqi National Alliance confirmed that the Iraqi leadership is working now to finalize a new constitution for the country which emphasizes democratic liberties, respect for human rights and political multilateralism. In a statement to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, al-Kubasiy said that he and his colleagues in the delegation of the Alliance which is visiting Baghdad now, were surprised that the Iraqi leadership has set up committees to draft proposals for a new constitution and new laws for political parties and liberties, which allow political multilateralism and freedoms. He added that the Iraqi leadership is not any more intolerant towards any criticism directed at it including accusations of dictatorship, oppression and violations of human rights. The delegation of the National Alliance had met with Izzet Ibrahim, Saddam's Deputy and other officials. There are speculations that the delegation would meet the Iraqi President in the coming few days. The delegation includes the spokesman of the alliance Awni al-Qalamchi, Fadhil al-Rubai'i, Labib Mansour Abdul-Aziz, Muhammed Jawad Faris and Amer al-Zerb. Mr. al-Qalamchi explained that this change occurred after the opinion of the faction in the leadership which calls for granting more freedoms prevailed over the other faction in the leadership which wants to wait until the extraordinary situation changes, especially since the country is subjected to choking sanctions and is preparing for an American aggression. Mr. al-Kubaisy explained that they toured Iraq, visited many houses and met citizens without government supervision. He stressed that life in Baghdad and other cities is normal. Al-Kubaisy pointed out that all members of the Iraqi opposition can go back and freely be involved in political activity, and can direct any criticism. He said that the only exemption is for those people or groups that are linked to foreign or Israeli intelligence services. Mr. al-Kubaisy talked about the excellent state of preparations to face any US aggression, explaining that there are ten million Iraqis armed with different weapons including anti-tank rockets, and that all are ready to fight and defend the country. Al-Kubaisy was also confident that the impression he got from officials was that Iraq has learned from the lessons of the 1991 war, and that it may surprise many with a different performance if war starts and the US aggression begins. He stated that there is the readiness to continue the war for ten years and even more, and that ammunition and provisions have been provided, without elaborating more on this issue. Fadhil al-Rubai'i described the visit of the delegation as one of solidarity, to confirm that the delegation stands with the Iraqi people and its leadership in the face of any US aggression, stressing that the priority should be given to the protection of Iraq and its unity and safety. The Iraqi National Alliance is an umbrella organization that includes many Iraqi national figures. It has always distanced itself from opposition groups linked to US plans to occupy Iraq and condemned these groups. The Alliance has been in public and secret contacts with the Iraqi leadership for the past three years. _________________________________________________ Maktoob introduces free Internet, Call now 077- 0303 from Cairo or 0908-0303 from outside Cairo _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk