Israel denies Qatari report saying Sharon secretly met Saddam in Baghdad following arrest
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon paid a brief visit Sunday to Baghdad to secretly meet former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a Qatari newspaper reported Tuesday.
Al-Raya, citing Nasser Mahmoud – a top Iraqi politician with close links to the interim council, reported that "Sharon, accompanied by intelligence officers, landed at around 20:00 at the Baghdad airport."
According to the report, top civil administrator Paul L. Bremer received the Israeli leader and accompanied him during the meeting with Saddam Hussein.
Mahmoud added, according to the report, that during a meeting with Bremer after his arrival in Baghdad, Sharon had asked to see Saddam in person.
Following the meeting with the ousted leader, Sharon praised Bremer and the US army on the capture and said it "strengthens the US victory in Iraq".
The paper added that Israel had transferred intelligence to the US forces in Iraq, which helped capture Saddam Hussein.
In Iraq, meanwhile, rumors said Sharon stayed the night in Baghdad following his short meeting with Saddam.
On Wednesday, sources in the Israeli Prime Minister's office denied the Qatari report, and added "there were no such things". (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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