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News, 22-29/11/02 (5) IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * U.S. Gets Positive Responses on Iraq * Goff tells America where NZ stands on Iraq war * India not yet prepared to ditch Iraq * [German] Chancellor backpedals on Iraq stance * German Government in Disarray Over Iraq * Belgrade anger at report of link to Baghdad * Ukraine Probe's Focus Shifts to China * U.S. seeks to train interpreters in Hungary for possible war in Iraqi * Canadian official quits after calling Bush a 'moron' * Russian plan to topple Saddam Hussein to prevent US occupation of Iraq * 'SA Will Not Cower From Iraq Relations' * Germany refuses US request over Iraq NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Turkish soldiers, Kurds clash in north Iraq * Turks, Fearing Flow of Refugees, Plan Move Into Iraq * If Iraq operation takes place (2) * Profile: Jalal Talabani * Iraqi Kurds fear for their future even after Saddam IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS http://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=16913280&template=baghdad/indexsea rch.txt&index=recent * U.S. GETS POSITIVE RESPONSES ON IRAQ Associated Press, 22nd November WASHINGTON: The worldwide response to U.S. requests for help in the event of war with Iraq is cautiously positive, Bush administration officials said Thursday. A key Arab country, Saudi Arabia, has assured the United States it would provide logistical support, two U.S. officials said. It is essentially a "wink-and-a-nod" reply, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, and help is contingent on limited use of Saudi territory. [.....] President Jacques Chirac of France said Wednesday in Prague that the United States cannot determine on its own whether to wage war against Iraq. The U.N. Security Council "is the only body established to put in motion action of a military nature, to take the responsibility, to commit the international community," Chirac said. [.....] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3005908&thesection=news&t hesubsection=general * GOFF TELLS AMERICA WHERE NZ STANDS ON IRAQ WAR by John Armstrong New Zealand Herald, 23rd November New Zealand has told the US it will contribute humanitarian, medical or logistic support to an invasion of Iraq if military action is taken under United Nations mandate. It is unlikely that it will commit combat troops. Foreign Minister Phil Goff spelled out New Zealand's position during a 40-minute meeting yesterday with US charge d'affairs Phil Wall, second-in-charge at the American Embassy in Wellington. The meeting was held at Mr Wall's request as Washington sounds out about 50 countries on possible contributions to an American-led force. After the meeting, Mr Goff said Mr Wall had outlined contingency plans for action if Iraq did not comply with the requirements of the UN Security Council. "The US position is that the UN resolution offers Iraq a final opportunity to disarm peacefully and verifiably through unconditional and complete co-operation with UN weapons inspectors," he said. "However, its view is that only the credible threat of force and serious consequences are likely to elicit Iraqi co-operation and compliance with the resolution. "For this reason and as a contingency against Iraqi refusal to comply, the United States is seeking possible contributions for military or humanitarian assistance if force is used against Iraq." Mr Goff told Mr Wall that New Zealand would consider calls for assistance if action against Iraq was UN-mandated and within international law. "However, I reiterated that these conditions needed to be met, and that New Zealand's strong view was that force should be used only as a last resort. "I noted that military action against Iraq entailed serious consequences including potential loss of innocent lives, the potential destabilising of the Middle East and the undermining of the existing broad and united coalition against terrorism." UN-approved multilateral action would reduce some of those risks, Mr Goff said. Because it had a substantial proportion of its combat forces in East Timor, and had also committed Army, Air Force and Navy forces to Afghanistan in the war against terrorism, it was unlikely New Zealand could make a further commitment of combat forces. If the UN did approve action against Iraq, New Zealand would consider humanitarian, medical or logistic support. National's foreign affairs spokesman, Wayne Mapp, said the Government had already made a major commitment to the Gulf in the form of a frigate and an Air Force Orion. He was confident they would be involved in any action against Iraq. "It takes the public as fools for us to believe New Zealand is not engaged." http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/DK23Df07.html * INDIA NOT YET PREPARED TO DITCH IRAQ by Sudha Ramachandran Asia Times, 23rd November BANGALORE - As the crisis over Iraq enters a new phase with the return of the weapons inspectors to that country, India has sent out a clear anti-war signal, distancing itself from the United States' position. In a statement of support to Baghdad, India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said this week that he hoped there would be no war in Iraq. "All issues should be sorted out through discussions under the auspices of the United Nations," he said. Without naming the US, Vajpayee, in an obvious reference to Washington's pursuit of regime change in Baghdad, said that other countries should understand that "the people of all nations have a right to rule themselves and choose their own leader ... No one should try to enforce their will on others. If Iraq has such weapons that pose a threat to humanity, then it should relinquish these weapons on its own." India has consistently expressed its opposition to the unilateral use of force against Iraq and it has consistently called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis within the UN framework. In an interview with the Arab media late in August, Vajpayee was asked what he thought of President George W Bush's axis of evil definition and whether India would support US military action against Iraq to effect a regime change. He responded, "India is vitally interested in the peace and prosperity of the Gulf region and has, therefore, supported all efforts to defuse the crisis relating to Iraq. In that respect, India supports the resumption of diplomatic efforts under the auspices of the United Nations." India has kept a low profile on the Iraq crisis in recent weeks, refraining from commenting on the various proposals that were being considered by the Security Council. When asked about Delhi's position on the various proposals, officials of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs refrained from commenting; the reason for the silence being that India had no part to play in hammering out the resolution since the matter concerned the Security Council alone. >From a position of merely supporting the UN role in defusing the crisis, India has now shifted to opposing US goals and proposed strategy in Iraq. India's disagreement with the Bush administration's approach on Iraq does not come as a surprise. Delhi has consistently expressed its opposition to international interference in the internal affairs of a country. It has also supported the pursuit of a diplomatic approach to ensure Iraq's full compliance with UN resolutions with respect to inspection of its suspected chemical and biological weapons facilities. It has opposed the use of force against Iraq to ensure compliance. In 1998, for instance, when the US and Britain launched air strikes on Iraq, India called for an immediate halt to the military operations. What comes somewhat as a surprise is the expression of the disagreement with the US at a time when Delhi's relations with Washington, after decades of frostiness, are warming up. India's military and economic ties with the US have blossomed. And in the past couple of years, noticeably from 2001, the Indian government has been more than enthusiastic in endorsing US positions on global strategic issues, on the controversial national missile defense, for instance. It has been argued that India's gains from a rapidly expanding relationship with the US far outweigh what it gets from its long-standing ties with Iraq. In 1990-91, India's policy towards Iraq and the Gulf War was determined to a major extent by its concern for the safety of the huge Indian population working in Iraq and Kuwait. Analysts point out that now India is less constrained by that concern as the number of Indians in Iraq has dwindled to a couple of hundreds, small enough for a quick evacuation. India's foreign policy establishment is said to be divided on the issue of Iraq. Some believe that with Bush set on ousting President Saddam Hussein through military strikes and in determining the nature of a post-Saddam dispensation, it would be in India's interest to just go along with the US now and gain a share in the spoils (reconstruction projects) as it has in Afghanistan. However, others believe that India does not stand to gain from an Iraqi invasion. The political upheaval and economic uncertainty it will engender across the Middle East will severely affect India. It could mean the return to India of millions of Indians working in the Middle East who are currently remitting around US$6 billion annually. Furthermore, the impact on the Indian economy will be severe given the fact that Arab oil accounts for almost two-thirds of India's crude imports. Indian officials are worried that Washington's current preoccupation with Iraq has distracted its attention away from the military operations against al-Qaeda. An American invasion of Iraq would lead to a more serious dilution of the operations, Delhi fears. India has an enormous interest in seeing al-Qaeda rooted out. M H Ansari, a former Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told the weekly news magazine Outlook that "India should be happy with the status quo where there's no strategic hostility to New Delhi in the Arab world and there's $10 billion trade with the Gulf countries." While India's support will not influence US decisions on Iraq, New Delhi's position on the evolving situation is of some significance. India not joining an anti-Iraq coalition in the event of an attack on that country will underscore the fact that democracies do not go to war easily. For long, the US, while willing to overlook India's trade ties with Iraq, has been peeved with its reluctance to vote with Washington in the UN on key global issues. As for Iraq, outside of the Arab world and Islamic countries, it has few supporters. India's support is therefore important. For the Iraqis, India's call for lifting of sanctions on Baghdad "in tandem" with its compliance with UN resolutions is refreshingly different from the standard Western position. Last week, Iraq's ambassador to New Delhi, Salah Al-Mukhtar, said that India should join the UN inspection teams operating in his country. Mohammed Sayeed Al-Sahaf, a special envoy of the Iraqi president, is currently in the Indian capital and is expected to meet the Vajpayee to hand over a message from Saddam. At a time when Iraqi representatives do not count for much in world capitals, it is significant that Saddam's special envoy will be meeting with the Indian premier and foreign minister. The kind of attention that he receives in Delhi will be closely watched by Washington. http://www.washtimes.com/world/20021123-91316265.htm * CHANCELLOR BACKPEDALS ON IRAQ STANCE by Nicholas Kralev Washington Times, 23rd November PRAGUE ‹ German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who won re-election by vowing not to take part in any U.S. attack on Iraq, softened his opposition yesterday by saying that Germany's NATO bases would be available for a military campaign against Saddam Hussein. "Of course we do not intend to limit our friends' freedom of movement," Mr. Schroeder said when asked directly if his government would let the United States use bases and airspace if a war with Iraq breaks out. At the same time, Mr. Schroeder reiterated his objection to sending German troops to Iraq. "There will be no military participation by Germany," he said. Mr. Schroeder's remarks came at the end of a two-day NATO summit in Prague, in which all 19 members of the alliance endorsed a recently passed U.N. resolution demanding that Iraq disarm or face "serious consequences." On German radio, Hans-Ulrich Klose, chairman of the Bundestag's foreign affairs committee, said that German troops and its six armored carriers, which serve as labs on wheels and are part of the U.S.-led global anti-terrorism campaign, may have to offer "emergency help if soldiers or Kuwaiti civilians face danger." "If push comes to shove, we could not refuse that," Mr. Klose said. German opposition leaders yesterday were quick to accuse the chancellor, who won re election in September largely on opposing a war against Saddam, of breaking his promise. "Now he has to decide whom to cheat ‹ his voters or our allies," said Edmund Stoiber, the defeated challenger from the Christian Democratic Union. On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer hinted at a possible change of heart by Mr. Schroeder's Cabinet, saying it would have to consider giving U.S. aircraft overflight rights and access to military bases. In his comments yesterday, the chancellor refrained from repeating his previous statements that a war in Iraq would be a "mistake" and would bring even more chaos to the Middle East by sparking renewed terrorism activity. A statement issued after the NATO summit said: "We deplore Iraq's failure to comply fully with its obligations. NATO allies stand united in their commitment to take effective action to assist and support the efforts of the U.N. to ensure full and immediate compliance by Iraq." The communique gave a boost to President Bush, who has been trying to round up support for disarming the Iraqi leader in a "coalition of the willing." Mr. Bush chatted with Mr. Schroeder, in front of photographers, at an official dinner before the summit's opening on Wednesday night in what Mr. Bush called a "cordial" encounter. The Wednesday talk was the first time they had met since the German election campaign, which the White House sharply criticized as riddled with anti-American sentiment. "I made clear to Bush that there was never any question of calling his personal integrity into question," Mr. Schroeder told reporters on Wednesday night. "In politics, as in private life, there are often differences of opinion. You thrash them out in a friendly way. That is what happened." Mr. Bush said Germany is "an important friend of the United States" and "we've got a relationship to maintain." http://dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1432_A_683385_1_A,00.html * GERMAN GOVERNMENT IN DISARRAY OVER IRAQ Deutsche Welle, 25th November There's more trouble brewing for the Social Democratic-Green coalition - this time over the involvement of German troops and equipment in a possible Iraq conflict. With internecine squabbling fast becoming the German government's trademark, the coalition partners have duely launched their next potentially damaging dispute. This time it's over the use of German troops stationed in Kuwait in a possible United States led war on Iraq. There are currently 52 soldiers and six fox reconnaissance armoured vehicles based in Kuwait. These can be used to detect chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Over the weekend, it emerged that several leading members of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens are at odds with the SPD's Peter Struck, Germany's defense minister, over the force's possible mission. Hans Ulrich Klose, an SPD expert on foreign affairs, said that the fox vehicles should be put at the disposal of the United States in the event of a war on Iraq. Struck, however, rejected the idea. "I do not share Klose's view, " he said, citing constitutional problems and the German government's mandate on fighting terrorism which does not extend to committing German troops to a war against Iraq. Stuck also remained adament that he would not send more troops to Kuwait. As if to highlight the SPD's internal disarray, Stuck's own parliamentary state secretary, Hans Georg Wagner, contradicted his minister, saying that the German troops and tanks would "naturally" be deployed in the event of an attack. While the Greens concede the possible use of the troops in Kuwait, they remain firmly opposed to any other involvement in a possible war. Winfried Nachtwei, the Greens' parliamentary group's spokesman on defense policy, warned of Germany being dragged into a conflict against its will. "We must ensure that we don't find ourselves sliding toward a war in Iraq," he said, arguing that the deployment of other weapons such as missiles would constitute an unpermissible contribution to a war effort. He was referring to newspaper reports over the weekend that the U.S. had asked the Berlin government for anti-aircraft missiles in the case of a war. Defense minister Peter Struck denied that was the case. "The report is false," he said. The report, quoting senior government officials, said Washington had asked Germany to prepare to provide an unspecified number of Patriot missiles. The officials allegedly hinted that the request would be difficult to turn down if it was intended to defend Israel or Turkey. Meanwhile, Angelika Beer, the Greens' expert on defense matters, questioned the legitimacy of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's stance on allowing Washington to use German airspace or U.S bases here in the event of a war. "If there is no clear international law mandating a war, then there can be no decree granting airspace, because this would effectively constitute involvement in a war violating international law, something the chancellor has ruled out," she said. Political pundits attribute Schröder's victory in September's general election to his hardline anti-war stance. However the conservative opposition says Schröder will be forced to choose between breaking that promise, thereby deceiving the electorate, or risk further damaging U.S-German relations. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1037872295053&p=1012571727166 * BELGRADE ANGER AT REPORT OF LINK TO BAGHDAD by Eric Jansson in Belgrade and Jimmy Burns in London Financial Times, 26th November Yugoslavia yesterday reacted angrily to a US-based think-tank report alleging it had failed to clamp down on illegal arms sales to Iraq, as the UK government used an international conference on organised crime in the Balkans to denounce the alleged links between Belgrade and Baghdad. "International rule of law means no breach of United Nations sanctions - such as selling weapons to Saddam Hussein," said Denis MacShane, UK Foreign Office minister with special responsibility for Europe. The conference - one of the biggest diplomatic gatherings on the Balkans since the Dayton peace conference in 1995 - was aimed at giving fresh impetus to a co-ordinated European strategy against the illicit arms trade as well as drugs trafficking, and people and cigarette smuggling. But it has been overshadowed by the leak of a report alleging deep trading links between Belgrade's political and military leaders and Saddam Hussein's regime, in violation of the UN arms embargo. The report, from the private international affairs watchdog International Crisis Group, is based in part on documents from the US government, according to its authors. These include two "non-papers" - complaints quietly delivered from the US embassy in Belgrade to Yugoslav authorities, one as early as July 2001 and another just a month ago. The US embassy in Belgrade would not confirm the existence of the non-papers, but Washington's suspicion of illegal Yugoslav arms dealing is at its highest level since pro democracy parties forced Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav president, from office in October 2000. A team of US government investigators arrived in Belgrade this month to search state records, including military archives, under the escort of Zoran Zivkovic, the Yugoslav federal interior minister. But crucially, the ICG report calls into question the willingness of Mr Zivkovic and other officials to co-operate. The report notes that Mr Zivkovic and other ministers sit on the executive board of Jugoimport-SDPR, the Yugoslav state's arms trader. The company came under further suspicion in October when Croatian authorities seized a Yugoslav freighter, the Boka Star, allegedly bound for Iraq via Syria, carrying a Jugoimport owned cargo: 208 tons of nitrocellulose propellant and nitroglycerin, the base ingredients of solid propellant rocket fuel. Mr Zivkovic is joined on the board of directors by Velimir Radojevic, the federal defence minister, and the chairman of the board is Dusan Mihajlovic, the Serbian interior minister. Yugoslav authorities reacted angrily to the charge that their efforts to rein in rogue arms traders have been slack. The foreign ministry released a statement promising that the government would punish traders violating the UN embargo and claimed that action was being taken. But the foreign ministry yesterday refused to comment on the ICG report. The report's allegation that Vojislav Kostunica, the Yugoslav president, knew about arms shipments to Iraq but initially did nothing to halt them, was greeted with outrage from the president's advisers. Predrag Simic, Mr Kostunica's foreign affairs adviser, call the claim "complete nonsense". But Yugoslav authorities now face a litany of specific allegations, as detailed in the report, rather than the more abstract charge of arms trading. Yesterday's conference in London committed EU member states and those joining the EU to establishing greater security and judicial co-operation. Greece, which takes over the EU presidency next year, pledged to make the fight against organised crime in south eastern Europe a high priority. However, several delegations complained about bureaucratic hurdles. For the UK, Mr MacShane stressed the need for greater banking transparency and in a further critical reference to the Balkans, said: "The world will not take our efforts seriously in south eastern Europe while war criminals like Karadzic, Mladic and Bobetko are not sent to The Hague." http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2002/11/27/011.html * UKRAINE PROBE'S FOCUS SHIFTS TO CHINA by Tim Vickery Moscow Times, from The Associated Press, 27th November KIEV -- Investigators probing an alleged Ukrainian arms deal with Iraq are now focusing on China's possible role in the transaction, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said Tuesday. A team of 13 U.S. and British experts spent a week in Ukraine last month investigating whether the country had sent any Kolchuha radar systems to Baghdad in violation of UN sanctions. In a report made public in Kiev on Monday, the experts said there is a "credible possibility" that Ukraine had sent such radar systems to Iraq through an intermediary. Ukrainian officials have confirmed that four of the Ukrainian-made radar stations are in China, but inspectors could not verify they had not been transferred to Iraq because Ukraine refused to provide documentation, the report said. U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual said Tuesday that China was a "special concern" because Ukrainian officials had told the inspectors that a standard clause preventing third-party transfers in a sales contract with China was modified "at China's request." Ukraine has said the contract included privileged information. It later provided a copy of a clause it claimed was in the contract, but the text reflected little modification, raising suspicions of China's intentions to transfer the Kolchuha system to Iraq. China on Tuesday flatly denied any involvement in the transaction. "There is no such question of China transferring radar systems to Iraq," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said in Beijing. "The Chinese government has strictly implemented the relevant sanctions by the United Nations on Iraq." Pascual said the United States had not pressed China directly about the deal, but did provide the UN Security Council's Iraq sanctions committee with a copy of the report. "That will be a forum in which the Chinese have an opportunity to comment on these issues," Pascual said. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry downplayed China's possible role. "Don't make an elephant out of a fly," said spokesman Serhiy Borodenkov. "We are totally open." Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma visited China earlier this month to drum up support for his request that UN inspectors verify that his government did not transfer radar systems to Iraq. U.S. authorities say they have verified the authenticity of a recording in which Kuchma is allegedly heard approving a $100 million sale of the sophisticated radar system to Iraq. However, Kuchma has denied the accusation. The inspectors' report also mentions that an Iraqi trade delegation visited eastern Ukraine where the Kolchuhas are made in June this year. Ukrainian officials denied that any Iraqi military representatives took part, but documents contradicted that, the report said. Ukraine also sold at least one Kolchuha system to Russia, according to the report -- raising questions about Moscow's possible role in transferring the sensitive technology to Iraq. Pascual could not confirm any details of the Russian transaction, citing Ukrainian objections that the details are proprietary. Western officials fear the radar system could enable the Iraqis to target U.S. and British warplanes enforcing the no-fly zones in the north and south of the country. http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/international/ap_hungary11272002.htm * U.S. SEEKS TO TRAIN INTERPRETERS IN HUNGARY FOR POSSIBLE WAR IN IRAQI Boston Herald, from Associated Press, 27th November BUDAPEST, Hungary - The United States asked Hungary for permission to train interpreters and other auxiliary personnel at a Hungarian military base in preparation for a possible war in Iraq, the government said Wednesday. Spokesman J. Zoltan Gal said the training would take place at a military base currently used by the U.S. military in the village of Taszar, 100 miles south of Budapest. "The Hungarian government is studying the request and the possibility of securing the necessary conditions," Gal said in a statement, adding that parliament would have the final say on the U.S. request. Gal and other Hungarian officials would not comment on an ABC-TV report that the Pentagon planned to begin training - possibly in Hungary or another European country - up to 5,000 Iraqi opposition members who would be recruited by the State Department to act as interpreters and fill other roles. A Hungarian national security expert told The Associated Press that it would be "politically unfeasible" for Hungary to accept the U.S. request if it involved the training of Iraqi dissidents. "The Hungarian public's perception would be that such an event would raise the possibility of Hungary becoming a target for a terrorist attack," said Sebestyen Gorka of the Hungarian Policy Institute, a nongovernmental research institute. Taszar has been used by the U.S. military since December 1995, when it transformed the Hungarian army and air force base into a logistics post for the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Bosnia. Hungary would not provide combat troops for any action against Iraq, but if a peaceful solution was impossible, the country is ready to participate "within the range of its possibilities," Gal said. In 1999, Hungary, along with Poland and the Czech Republic, became the first former communist countries to join NATO. http://www.online.ie/news/latest_world/viewer.adp?article=1891489 * CANADIAN OFFICIAL QUITS AFTER CALLING BUSH A 'MORON' Irish Examiner, 27th November An aide to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has quit following an outcry over reports she privately called US President George Bush a "moron". Francoise Ducros, who was Chretien's director of communications, used the expression during a conversation at last week's Nato summit in Prague. The Canadian premier was forced to make light of the remark. Bush "is a friend of mine. He's not a moron at all," he told reporters at the summit. Ducros has said she does not remember making the comment and never used the word in her official capacity. She offered to resign last week, but Chretien defended her and initially refused to accept her resignation. Her remark, reportedly made in a news briefing room, touched off a debate in Canada about the state of US-Canadian relations and was cited as a gauge of the strength of anti American sentiment in the country. The controversy continued as members of opposition political parties raised concern that Ducros's comment was being used by Baghdad as an example of opposition to Bush's talk of military action in Iraq. "It is Saddam Hussein's official media outlet which is now using the words of the spokesperson of the prime minister and of the government to insult this country," Jason Kenney of the Canadian Alliance party told parliament. "By allowing her words to stand, by not accepting her resignation and by not apologising for these offensive remarks, the government and the prime minister have indicated that this constitutes tolerable conduct on the part of their spokesperson." http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/021127/2002112707.html * RUSSIAN PLAN TO TOPPLE SADDAM HUSSEIN TO PREVENT US OCCUPATION OF IRAQ Arabic News, 27th November The Paris- based al-Watan al-Arabi magazine said, according to well-informed sources, that the military and intelligence leadership in Moscow had prepared a plan to topple the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by a military coupe or an assassination operation in order to protect the Russian interests in Iraq and the region and to block plans of an American occupation of Iraq. In its recent issue, the magazine said that the higher Russian leadership decided to pursue a new strategy that stems from the fact that Washington will topple Saddam Hussein, but the Russian interest require a plan that achieves this objective without leading to Russia losing of its historical influence and economic interests in Iraq. A well- informed source stressed that the said plan was held in top secrecy and full seriousness and on the ground that the plan of the military coup has no relation to the military coup plans previously prepared by the CIA; A plan which is based on an experience of years of military and intelligence cooperation between Baghdad and Moscow and tons of the archive of the Russian intelligence. The magazine said that the scenario of the successful Russian coup will be carried out at the hands of persons which are very close to the Iraqi President and are able to have access to him, adding that the Russian national security council took a decision to topple Saddam Hussein in order to protect and ensure the Russian interests in Iraq and the region. http://allafrica.com/stories/200211280304.html * 'SA WILL NOT COWER FROM IRAQ RELATIONS' Cape Argus (Cape Town), 28th November If President Thabo Mbeki can play a role in preventing an imminent war between Iraq and the United States, then he will be advised to visit President Saddam Hussein. So says Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aziz Pahad, in response to the criticism that has dogged his department since his return from an Iraqi trade fair in Baghdad. "We are adjudged guilty by association (with Iraq). What most fail to realise is that we have relations with all countries in the world. "And if the same principle (of guilty by association) is applied fairly, we will then have no relations with anyone. It's nonsense," said Pahad. The row about Pahad, and by extension South Africa, "hobnobbing" with Iraq followed reports that he had personally delivered a letter from Mbeki to Saddam and that the latter then verbally invited Mbeki to Baghdad. Democratic Alliance deputy leader Joe Seremane said a visit to Saddam by Mbeki would "damage US-SA relations". He also felt it would jeopardise the benefits achieved from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. [.....] http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1037872384682&p=1012571727166 * GERMANY REFUSES US REQUEST OVER IRAQ by Hugh Williamson in Berlin and Peter Spiegel in Washington Financial Times, 28th November German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder yesterday refused to provide the US with the support it has requested from allies for an attack on Iraq, in a move that could further fuel tensions between Berlin and Washington. Mr Schröder defiantly rejected recent US demands for military and other assistance that could draw Germany into a war with Iraq. "I want to make it as clear as glass that we are opposed to military intervention," he said. However, in an attempt to avoid further undermining fragile US-German relations, the chancellor said the US could use its military bases in Germany for assaults on Iraq. He also promised military support to Israel, a key US ally. The US defence department said Mr Schröder's decision was not critical, with one official saying the lack of German co-operation would not greatly impede a war effort, if an attack on Iraq became necessary. Mr Schröder said Washington had requested earlier this month that Germany, in the event of an Iraq war, provide defence against chemical, biological and nuclear attack, missile defence systems, military police, and financial and material help for possible post-conflict reconstruction work. The chancellor suggested that these requests could not be met because of Germany's stance against an Iraq war. But Mr Schröder repeated that Germany would comply with international agreements which oblige it to allow the US and Nato overflight rights in the event of war. US and Nato troops would also be able to use American military facilities in Germany and to move freely throughout the country. Mr Schröder said Berlin was ready to meet a two-year-old request from Israel for defensive anti-aircraft missile systems. Peter Struck, defence minister, said Germany could supply two of the Patriot missile systems requested. Germany currently has six available. Berlin would also respond positively to another Israeli request, presented this week, to supply specialist Fuchs armoured carriers used in detecting nuclear, poison-gas and germ warfare, the chancellor said. While based on Berlin's historical responsibilities towards the state of Israel, these commitments are also an indirect way of pleasing Washington, analysts said. The US wish list included a request for unspecified missile defence systems to be located in the Middle East, and for the use of the Fuchs armoured carriers. Six of the carriers, along with 52 German troops, are already stationed in Kuwait as part of the anti-terrorist Enduring Freedom alliance. The chancellor yesterday ruled out the deployment of these carriers in an Iraq war. Mr Schröder stressed that Berlin's priority remained Iraqi compliance with the United Nations resolution on weapons of mass destruction. Additional reporting by Yvonne Esterhazy in Washington. NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/11/23/turkey.kurds.reut/index.html * TURKISH SOLDIERS, KURDS CLASH IN NORTH IRAQ CNN, 23rd November TUNCELI, Turkey (Reuters) -- Turkish soldiers have pursued Kurdish separatists across the border into northern Iraq, but the death toll from three days of clashes was not yet clear, a military official said on Saturday. Members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) told the Mezopotamya News Agency they had killed seven Turkish soldiers and four intelligence agents, but the official denied the army had suffered any losses. He said "a great number of PKK were killed" after the army used ground forces and helicopters to track PKK fighters in a rugged mountain area bordering Turkey's Sirnak province. The Turkish army regularly enters northern Iraq, where it keeps a military base, to fight PKK guerrillas who have waged an armed struggle for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey since 1984. More than 30,000 people, mainly Kurds, have been killed. Fighting has dropped off sharply since the 1999 capture and sentencing of PKK commander Abdullah Ocalan, who ordered his followers to withdraw from Turkey into northern Iraq. Europe-based Mezopotamya, closely linked to the PKK, carried a statement from the separatists saying Turkish soldiers began attacking rebel camps across the border on Wednesday and that fighting continued. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/23/international/europe/23TURK.html?todayshea d lines=&pagewanted=print&position=top * TURKS, FEARING FLOW OF REFUGEES, PLAN MOVE INTO IRAQ by Dexter Filkins New York Times, 23rd November DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, Nov. 22: Turkish officials are preparing to send troops up to 60 miles into northern Iraq on what they say is a mission to prevent an influx of refugees in the event that a war there sets off a mass movement toward Turkey's borders. The plan, which is being circulated among top government officials, is giving rise to fears that it could be used as a cover for the Turkish military to snuff out any attempt by Iraqi Kurds to set up their own state if President Saddam Hussein falls from power. Turkey has been battling its own Kurdish insurgency for years, and Turkish leaders are concerned that a war in Iraq could lead to an independent Kurdish state on their own borders. Turkish officials say they are fearful that an Iraqi attack on the Kurds in Iraq, possibly with biological or chemical weapons, could cause a panic similar to the one that followed the Persian Gulf war in 1991, when more than a million Kurds poured into Turkey and Iran in flight from the attacking Iraqi Army. "In case of a massive influx, it would be necessary to take measures to keep them away from our border," said Gokhan Aydiner, regional governor in southeastern Iraq. "We have our own experience from 1991 in mind. We naturally do not want it to be repeated." The Turkish plan is a measure of the anxiety that is sweeping the region as the threat of an American-led war with Iraq looms. While many leaders in the area say they would be happy to see Mr. Hussein ousted, they fear a war's unintended effects. In Turkey, for instance, officials have indicated that they would support an American-led attack, but they are determined to avoid a repeat of 1991. That crisis began weeks after the gulf war had ended, when Iraq's Kurds, emboldened by Mr. Hussein's defeat, rose up against him. Iraqi forces loyal to Mr. Hussein responded with ferocity, and thousands of Kurds headed for the borders. American troops and international aid agencies rushed in to help deal with the crisis, but at one point more than 1,000 people a day were dying on the borders from exposure and disease. Turkish officials insist that the influx of refugees helped fuel the long-running Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey. This is a delicate time for Turkey, which is seeking membership in the European Union. One factor inhibiting Turkey's admission has been its often brutal treatment, and sometimes torture, of suspected members of Kurdish guerrilla groups. The plan for sealing the borders, dated Oct. 22 and signed by Bulent Ecevit, who was then prime minister, envisions the establishment of 18 camps — 12 of them in Iraq — designed to hold about 275,000 refugees. The camps in Iraq would be filled first, and foreigners trying to enter Turkey before the first 12 camps were filled would be turned back. The camps in Turkey would be opened only after the ones in Iraq were filled. The plan calls on the army to ensure "the maintenance of security in the region," and it makes it clear that the government does want any refugees to stay for long. "The main principle will be to send foreigners settled in the camps either back to their region of origin or to third countries," the document says. Human rights workers in Turkey have sharply criticized the Turkish preparations to go into Iraq, with some saying that the real goal would be to forestall any attempt by Iraq's Kurds to set up their own government there. The rights groups fear the Turkish Army would make it impossible for them to work in northern Iraq, and thus would effectively deny the Kurdish people the very benefits the Turkish government says it wants to deliver. "The Turkish Army would do its best to eliminate the possibility of a Kurdish entity in northern Iraq, through military means," said Selahattin Demitas, of the Turkish Human Rights Association. "The only law that will be applied in that area would be the law of war." Others say the Turkish plan, if carried out, would violate longstanding norms of international law governing the treatment of refugees. Generally speaking, countries are obliged to grant entrance to people fleeing persecution from other countries. Officials at the United Nations, which would ordinarily play a large role in any relief effort, say the Turkish government has refused so far to divulge the plan's details. "We couldn't get as much cooperation as we expected," said Metin Corabatir, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Ankara. "We have not seen the report." Turkish leaders already regard their country as an embattled front line against illegal immigrants from Asia. In the first 10 months of this year, more than 13,000 people were detained trying to cross into Turkey from Iraq. Most were Iraqi, but the police arrested Bangladeshis and Indians as well. Another refugee crisis would complicate Turkey's tangled relationship with the Kurds. Several parts of the country near the Iraqi border are under emergency rule. Although the government offers political support for Kurdish groups battling Mr. Hussein in Iraq, hundreds of Turkish troops are operating in northern Iraq to root out remnants of Kurdish guerrillas there. A Turkish move into northern Iraq would be an unusual response to a refugee crisis, but not an unprecedented one. During the American-led campaign in Afghanistan last year, Iranian officials set up a refugee camp in western Afghanistan to forestall an influx of Afghans into their country. http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20021125670.2 _2b47001d933829b3 * IF IRAQ OPERATION TAKES PLACE (2) by Gunduz Aktan Hoover's (Financial Times), 24th November, from Turkish Daily News, 11/23/2002 Ankara: Suitable conditions for a solution to problems besetting Turkomans would emerge, if a military operation on Iraq takes place and if a democratic regime replaces the existing one as a result. The "Declaration" that Iraq presented to the United Nations in 1932 to be recognized as an independent state granted the same status to Turkomans and Kurds. In areas where one of these two groups constituted the majority, Kurdish and Turkoman language, that is Turkish, were accepted as the "official language." Opting for the armed struggle option, Kurds extended the scope of their rights and the boundaries of the region they controlled. They attacked Turkomans in Kirkuk in 1959, killing some and displacing many others. In 1970, Saddam Hussein himself accepted geographical and political autonomy to Kurds. On the other hand, a decision of the Revolutionary Command Council issued in the same year relegated Turkomans' rights to cultural rights level. Their language was no longer an official language. They were allowed to publish a newspaper and a journal. The Turkoman language was to be taught only in primary schools. On the other hand, the provisional Constitution of 1970 accepted that the "Iraqi nation comprised of Arabs and Kurds." However, Article 10 of the Declaration foresees that violations of rights of Turkomans, like those of other groups, are to be taken up by the Council of the League of Nations, which would then be assigned to take "proper and effective measures." Under today's U.N. terminology, this could be interpreted as allowing a wide range of measures including even the armed option. What is more, violation of the founding agreement Declaration is such a serious act that it could even endanger the statehood of Iraq. In the light of what was said above, in the event of a regime change in Iraq, Turkoman rights should be upgraded to the level enjoyed by Kurds. Getting Turkomans, a scattered community, contrary to Kurds, organized around a "Community Assembly", granting official status to their language and compensation for the oppression they were subjected to in the past could be considered as suitable measures. In addition, a new Iraqi constitution could describe the term "Iraqi nation" as including, alongside with Kurds, Arabs and Turkomans. Another issue to be resolved in this regard is the oil problem. According to Article 14 of the June 1926 Turco-British agreement, on the basis of which we abandoned Mosul, 10 percent of oil revenues of the company, which was still called "Turkish Petroleum Company" then, and of revenues of oil exporting corporations and subsidiaries were to be delivered to Turkey for the next 25 years. Iraq kept this commitment for 13 years, that was until World War II. Then it stopped payments to Turkey. Payments that were supposed to be made by Iraq for the next 12 years were recorded in Turkish national budgets as state claims until 1986. Upon Saddam Hussein's request, the unpaid payments were taken out of the next budgets. But Turkey did not give up on its claim. Today, the privilege contract of the Turkish Petroleum Company, dated March 4, 1925, should be reviewed to calculate Iraq's oil debts to Turkey. Taking into consideration the increases in production that took place after nationalization of Iraqi oil reserves in 1972, construction of oil pipelines and the increasing export revenues and subsidiaries, one would see that the amount of unpaid debts must have risen to a level that cannot be ignored. If Iraqi oil reserves are to be privatized once again, Turkey ought to be granted new benefits in return for its rights. These benefits could include privileges to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to explore oil in new regions of Iraq and partnership in oil pipelines. What needs to be kept in mind is that there is an agreement stipulating that a part of Iraq's oil revenues should be delivered to Turkey in return for Turkey's abandoning Mosul. That is, Iraq's sovereignty on Mosul could turn controversial if the debt is not paid. In sum, Turkey's Iraq policy must be based on the following principles: That Iraq's territorial integrity must be protected, that Turkomans have the self-determination right if Iraqi territorial integrity is not protected, that Kurds too must be disarmed and democratized in a disarmed and democratized Iraq, that Turkomans' rights should be upgraded to the level enjoyed by Kurds and that Iraq's oil debts should be paid in cooperation with Iraq. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2480197.stm * PROFILE: JALAL TALABANI BBC, 26th November Jalal Talabani, widely referred to by Kurds as Mam (uncle) Jalal, is one of the longest serving figures in contemporary Iraqi Kurdish politics. A Baghdad University law graduate, he is considered to be a shrewd politician with an ability to switch alliances and influence friends and foes alike. Mr Talabani is the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main parties controlling the Iraqi Kurdistan region. The party has traditionally drawn its support from among the urban population and radical elements in Kurdish society. Based in Sulaymaniyah, it controls the south-eastern part of Iraqi Kurdistan - with the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party, KDP, to the west and the central government to the south. The PUK commands a militia force of more than 20,000 men, which could play a role in the event of US military action against Iraq. Mr Talabani has been seeking US support for federal status for Kurds in any settlement of a post-Saddam Iraq. Born in 1933, Jalal Talabani began his political career in the early 1950s as a founder member and leader of the KDP's Kurdistan Students Union. He rapidly moved up within the party ranks to become a senior member of the KDP. In 1961, he joined the Kurdish revolt against the government of Abd-al-Karim Qasim. After the coup that ousted Qasim he led the Kurdish delegation to talks with President Abd-al Salam Arif's government in 1963. Subsequent differences with KDP leader Mustafa Barzani began to emerge and in 1975 he joined a KDP splinter group, the KDP-Political Bureau, led by his future father-in-law and the party ideologue Ibrahim Ahmad. In 1966, the group formed an alliance with the central government and took part in a military campaign against the KDP. The group was dissolved when the KDP and the government signed a peace agreement in March 1970. Jalal Talabani and a number of others founded the PUK in 1975. A year later he began an armed campaign against the central government. The PUK suffered a severe setback when the Iraqi Government used chemical weapons against the Kurds in 1988, and Mr Talabani was forced to leave northern Iraq and seek refuge in Iran. The Talabani-Barzani or PUK-KDP rivalry has been a dominant factor in Iraqi Kurdish politics for the last three decades. A new era in Mr Talabani's political life began in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War and the Kurdish uprising in the north against the Iraqi Government. The declaration by the Western alliance of a no-fly zone and a safe haven for Kurds marked the beginning of a short-lived honeymoon with the KDP. Elections were held in Iraqi Kurdistan and a PUK-KDP joint administration was established in 1992. The underlying tension between the two parties led to armed confrontation, dubbed the fratricide war, in 1994. After concerted efforts by the US and, to a lesser extent Britain, and numerous meetings between the two parties' delegations, Mr Talabani and KDP leader Massoud Barzani signed a peace agreement in Washington in 1998. The accord was further cemented on 4 October 2002 when the regional parliament reconvened in a session attended by both parties' MPs. In that session, Mr Talabani proposed that the parliament should pass a law prohibiting and criminalising inter-Kurdish fighting. BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1323182002 * IRAQI KURDS FEAR FOR THEIR FUTURE EVEN AFTER SADDAM The Scotsman, 28th November THEIR great enemy Saddam Hussein might be on the ropes, but Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq are still alarmed. Reports have suggested that in the event of war, Turkey plans to send troops up to 70 miles into the north of the country to forestall a flood of refugees entering its borders. Western diplomats have shrugged off the threats but Iraqi Kurds, slowly recovering from 30 years of battles with Baghdad, do not take them lightly. The fate of the Kurdish region of Iraq, where millions of Kurds now run their own villages and schools, remains a dangerously open question as the US considers the options for an Iraq after Saddam Hussein. "The outcome could be anything," said Faik Nerweyi, the Amman representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. "Saddam is a hanging sword over our neck," he said. "But if he is removed, what will come after him?" Worst-case scenarios for a post-war Iraq draw a picture of blood-baths in Baghdad and both the Shia Muslims in the south and the Kurds in the north seizing control of their areas to split Iraq into three. The looming possibility that the US may force out Saddam, the man they blame for a string of atrocities including the use of chemical weapons to wipe out a Kurdish town, have left the feeling that something good is coming, said Mr Nerweyi. "But we have to be cautious. There are a dozen butterflies moving in our stomachs," he said. The danger, he said, is that if post-war Iraq begins to fall apart, Turkey and even Iran could intervene in an "uncontrolled game". Washington has tried to play down fears of a disintegrating Iraq by insisting that Iraq's "territorial integrity" is at the top of its priorities list. Reports suggest an American military government could hold the country together in the early days after any US move on Baghdad. The Kurds would likely play a key role in a "transitional authority" on the path to a democratic, federal state. The Kurds are waging a sustained diplomatic campaign to prove to Ankara and Washington that they want to remain in a federal Iraq. "Every day we are sending goodwill messages. We are telling them that the Kurdish federal part of Iraq would not be a threat to Turkey in any way. We will keep ourselves within the borders of Iraq," said Mr Nerweyi. After a Kurdish parliament convened this summer, Turkish politicians repeatedly threatened that if there was a declaration of independence, its army would intervene. This week reports emerged of a different Turkish contingency plan - to send troops up to 70 miles into northern Iraq in a bid to stop any flood of war refugees before they can cross the Turkish border. Turkish officials describe it as a humanitarian operation. But critics, including human rights groups, suspect the true goal is to ensure Turkey's control of Iraqi Kurdish areas. Another crisis in a post-Saddam Iraq could centre on the city of Kirkuk, at the heart of Iraq's richest oil region, long claimed by the Kurds and briefly occupied by them in the wake of the 1991 Persian Gulf war before Saddam Hussein's troops staged a bloody re-conquest. The Kurds claim that Saddam has "arabised" a city that is rightly their own by settling Iraqi families there. There are 400,000 Kurds waiting to return to the area who were driven from their homes, said Mr Nerweyi. "Giving Kirkuk back would be to give people what they own," he added. The Kurds have repeatedly told the Americans, said Mr Nerweyi, that their goal is to be part of a federal, democratic Iraq. But, he said, if Turkey were to elect to intervene, the Kurds were quite determined that they would fight. _______________________________________________ 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