Cohen seeks a plan to partition Iraq, report says
United Arab Emirates-Iraq-USA, Politics, 3/8/1999
The US Defense Secretary William Cohen currently making a tour of the Gulf region is attempting to obtain the support of the Gulf states for a plan to partition Iraq, a report said.
AFP said that United Arab Emirates al-Khaleej daily quoted well-informed diplomatic sources in Doha as saying that Cohen is trying to convince countries of the region, especially the Gulf states, of a US plan aimed at perpetuating the independence of northern Iraq by establishing a Kurdish entity, but this entity is not to be split from Iraq but to be linked to it in a confederation that will be a starting point for the opposition against the Iraqi government.
The same sources added that this plan will not deal with southern Iraq with the same logic, under the pretext that by doing so it will avail the chance for establishing an entity which would constitute a center point for Iranian influence (in reference to the Shiites of southern Iraq).
The well-informed diplomatic sources did not rule out that Cohen will in his Gulf tour repropose his ideas to obtain Gulf support for the US plan aimed at toppling the government of Saddam Hussein through backing the Iraqi opposition groups. However, the Gulf states showed reservations and opposition to such a plan during the previous tour held by US Undersecretary of State Martin Indyk.
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