Baghdad Warns: Attack Would Threaten US Interests in Mid-East
Iraq has warned the United States that its interests throughout the Middle East region would be threatened if it attacks, newspapers reported on Monday.
"The United States should be aware that its interests in the Arab world will be threatened - by the people, not by the regimes - if it launches a new aggression against Iraq," they quoted Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz as saying.
"Iraq fought the United States and knows how to fight and defend itself," said Aziz, who spoke during an Arab conference held in Baghdad in solidarity with Iraq and the Palestinians.
"Should US interests spread across the Arab world remain (unscathed) when an Arab country is the target of US aggression?" Aziz asked.
"If the United States feels a threat to its interests, its war (against Iraq) would be doomed," he added.
Washington, backed by London, has threatened military action against Iraq and the overthrow of the regime unless it readmits UN arms inspectors back into the country.
Iraq resumed talks with the United Nations last week on the inspectors' possible return, however still officially rules out that prospect.
Furthermore, Aziz, implicitly alluded to a Saudi land-for-peace proposal, said an Arab-Israeli settlement on the terms currently on offer by Israel and the United States would amount to "treason".
The settlements currently being discussed amount to "a deception" and "treason," said Aziz, adding that Israel wanted to secure Arab recognition without evacuating occupied Arab territory.
The Iraqi official, calling upon the Arabs to "step up" their support of the Palestinian Intifada, stated President Saddam Hussein had raised the aid provided to families of Palestinians killed in the uprising from 10,000 to 25,000 dollars. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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