Saddam Calls for Muslims and Christians to Support Palestinians
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein called Sunday for the world's Muslims and Christians to unite in support of the Palestinians' struggle to "liberate" their homeland from Israel.
"Muslim and Christian Arabs and all honest people of the world must unite with dignity alongside the Palestinians who face a Zionist plot to judaize Jerusalem and exterminate its Muslim and Christian inhabitants in complicity with America," Saddam said in his holiday message for Christmas and Eid al-Fitr.
"We ask God to give Iraqis the force and determination permitting us to help liberate Palestine," he said in a message published by the official Iraqi News Agency.
Firmly opposed to peace with Israel, Saddam urged believers "to follow the path of jihad (holy war) to bring peace and save humanity from the criminal aggressors."
He also denounced the UN sanctions imposed upon Iraq 10 years ago when the country invaded Kuwait: "The Muslims and Christians of Iraq, with their faith in God and confidence of victory, will defy this unjust embargo."
Meanwhile, Palestinian public works minister Azzam Al-Ahmad, who has been visiting Iraq since Friday, briefed Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz on talks with Israel and the latest news from the Palestinian uprising.
"We discussed on Saturday night the most recent developments in the Palestinian territories and our political contacts," Azzam told AFP, referring to the Palestinians' just-ended five days of peace talks with Israel in Washington.
Ahmad praised "Iraq's support of the Palestinian people" during the uprising, which has left 303 Palestinians dead since fighting started September 28.
Iraq announced December 9 that it would donate one billion euros (900 million dollars) to the Palestinian Authority. Baghdad had previously mobilized 7.5 million volunteers to send to the Palestinian territories to fight Israel -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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