Saddam says he will never abandon Iraq; Baghdad may allow inspections in presidential sites
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has vowed never to abandon Iraq and promised to defend its independence.
In comments broadcast on state television Sunday, Saddam said it was impossible for him to "renounce the mission of defending the independence of Iraq and leave it a prey to foreign powers."We have accepted (this mission) with joy, and it is impossible to renounce it and allow the outside world to govern us," he said in a meeting with Defense Minister, Sultan Hashem Ahmad.
Saddam said Iraq would "triumph" over anyone who attacks, but said he had accepted the return of the inspectors to prevent hostilties.
At the meeting, attended by his two sons Udai and Qusai, Saddam said those making allegations that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction were "liars." Saddam said Iraq "has been a victim of aggression by an enemy that plans to attack us," according to Iraqi TV.
Iraq, he said, accepted the return of the inspectors "in response to calls by Arabs, Muslims and foreigners, (and) because this is the way to prevent the aggression and ... lift the (U.N.) sanctions."
Earlier, Baghdad's representative at the United Nations, Mohammed Aldouri, said Iraq would consider a new UN Security Council resolution on weapons inspections and allow inspections at sensitive "presidential" sites.
"We are not rejecting any resolutions of the Security Council," he told the US television network ABC.
"I think now the Security Council will go to Baghdad and have all facilities, feel free to search any site in Iraq, even the sensitive sites, or so-called presidential sites," he added, noting that Iraq wants "to finish with this problem so to see the blockade, the sanctions lifted ... because of one simple reason: We don't have mass destruction weapons." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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