Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned the Iraqi government to avoid any missteps in cooperating with U.N. inspectors or expect war, but he said he's not sure Saddam Hussein comprehends advice offered him.
"The strike is coming — coming unless Iraq abides by the resolutions of international legitimacy and ceases to put obstacles in front of the international inspection operations," Mubarak said in an interview published Tuesday with the UAE's Al-Itihad daily.
"I warn the Iraqi president that the strike will come after any incident that would obstruct the inspection teams and prevent them from entering any site, even if they were presidential palaces," Mubarak said. "If they are not searched they will be destroyed."
Asked if he thinks Iraq accepts and correctly evaluates such warnings, Mubarak said he couldn't be certain: "Usually they don't respond. Sometimes, we feel consent."
"Now, there are obstacles casting doubt on Iraq's intentions that are occurring in front of the international and American public opinion," Mubarak added. "They don't understand this. Their understanding has limits because they are not mixing with the world."
Mubarak returned to Egypt on Monday night after a Gulf tour to discuss with leaders of the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia how to avoid a U.S.-led war against Iraq.
On Tuesday, the pro-government Akher Sa'a weekly magazine accused the Iraqi leadership of procrastinating and outmaneuvering the weapons inspectors. "We wish that the Iraqi leadership would listen to the voice of wisdom in order to clear the dark cloud that overshadows Baghdad and threatens an unpredictable catastrophe," the weekly wrote. (Albawaba.com)
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