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[casi] Iraqi opposition delegation in Baghdad...

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.


>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
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

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