Okaz: Iraq is ready to restore relations with the US
Iraq-USA, Politics, 8/29/2002
The Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri has stressed the need of inter- Arab solidarity, noting that such solidarity will be able to avert the region and Iraq an American attack that would be conducive to making a change in the political map of the region.
In statement to the Saudi daily Okaz, the first of its kind for a Saudi Arabian paper since the Gulf war, Sabri said that his country does not want the military confrontation with the US or any other country. He added "we do not want confrontation with the US," but he added that if war will be imposed on Baghdad, the Iraqis will defend their lands.
On accusing Iraq of producing and using mass destruction weapons, the Iraqi minister said this is but a lie and a provocation, noting that both Washington and London know well that what Iraq had owned of chemical weapons were completely destroyed.
The Iraqi minister, on the other hand, stressed Iraq's readiness to resume relations with Saudi Arabia, considering that the opening of the border crossing of "Arar" is a good start for cooperation relations between the two states. He continued "when our brothers, the officials in Saudi Arabia decide to restore back relations between the two countries back to normalcy they will be welcomed in Iraq."
Sabri added that the relation between the two states has started to witness areas of cooperation since 1998 and started to grow and develop following the meeting held between Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz and Iraq's Deputy Chairman of Revolution Command Council Izzat Ibrahim during the Beirut's recent Arab summit.
He said that the relation between the two states should be normalized, noting that preparations are now underway to inaugurate the Arar border crossing for trade between the two states.
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