US Vice President Al Gore reiterated Monday support for Iraqi opposition groups opposed to the government of President Saddam Hussein.
Gore, who is set to stand as Democratic candidate in the November presidential election, "reaffirmed the administration's strong commitment to the objective of removing (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein from power," according to an official statement released as the vice president met in Washington with representatives of the Iraqi opposition.
Further, the United States remained committed "to bringing (Hussein) and his inner circle to justice for their war crimes and crimes against humanity," the statement said.
Gore met in the State Department with political exiles from the Iraqi National Congress (INC) umbrella group, which receives logistical and financial support from the United States.
The statement reiterated that the United States "views the INC as an authoritative and representative voice for the people of Iraq in their struggle to free themselves from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein."
The INC representatives for their part "proposed ways to ease the burden of sanctions from the Iraqi people," the statement said, without providing further details.
Gore reiterated US support for proposals "to expand the oil-for-food program and to streamline the contract approval process" -- a reference to the program supervised by the United Nations under which Iraq is allowed to export limited amounts of crude. The revenues raised are used to import food, pharmaceuticals, and spare parts and equipment for the country's oil industry -- WASHINGTON (AFP)
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