Iraqi President Saddam Hussein Thursday called on Indonesia to distance itself from the United States and from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which he called an "American-Zionist trap."
"You should distance yourself from the United States," Hussein told Indonesian Industry and Trade Minister Luhut Panjaitan, who arrived in Iraq on Tuesday as head of a delegation studying ways of expanding economic cooperation with Iraq.
"You should not expect any aid from those who have targeted your economy and continue to act against your national integrity," the official news agency INA quoted him as saying.
"You know that the economy and money constitute one of the pillars of Zionism (and) the IMF is no more than an American-Zionist trap to exploit and weaken peoples," he added.
The IMF is coordinating a 46-billion- dollar rescue effort to help dig Indonesia out of the financial crisis that struck in 1997, and left the banking system in ruins.
Indonesia will sign and deliver to the IMF by July 30th its latest letter of intent, containing economic reform pledges.
Instead, Hussein called on Indonesia to find aid at home, as well as from truly friendly countries, who are concerned for Indonesia's unity and are interested in it being strong.
In that context, he said Iraq was "disposed to cooperate" with Indonesia on both the economic and political levels -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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