France denies reports about sending '\'secret'\' envoy to Saddam
The French Foreign Ministry denied on Saturday reports saying that President Jacques Chirac had sent a secret envoy on a mission to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
"The French authorities categorically deny the reports of Ashraq al-Awsat daily. No French envoy charged with such a mission to Saddam Hussein has gone to Iraq," the ministry said in a statement.
Asharq al-Awsat reported Saturday that an envoy of Chirac has been "regularly visiting Iraq for some time" to urge Saddam to soften his domestic and foreign policies and consequently avert United States military action against his regime. The Lobdon-based newspaper said the French envoy was a high-level official called "Pierre Delval" who went to Baghdad under a false identity as the manager of a French state-run printing house.
The report added the "envoy" mainly talked with Iraqi Vice Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, and had met "at least six times" with Oussai, one of Saddam's sons. (Albawaba.com)
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