Iraqi official publicly visits Israel, urges establishment of ties

Published September 13th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

Many quarters in Iraq are interested in diplomatic ties with Israel, according to Mithal al-Alousi, an Iraqi official, who attended a conference on terrorism in Israel.  


According to the Monday's edition of Haaretz newspaper, Al-Alousi heads the Iraqi government's de-Baathification campaign, meant to keep Baathists from the old regime out of the new government. He said that "many intellectuals in Iraq know that Israel must be taken into account as an existing fact and that generations of people have been born here. It is in Iraq's interests to have diplomatic relations with everyone, and that is what we want." 


Al-Alousi said he was aware of the risk of coming to Israel. He came to Israel via Turkey. He said he expects to have a lot of problems from some people, but "faith in the cause is a guarantee I will solve the problems."  


Following the news, Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress fired Al-Alousi for visiting Israel, a spokesman for the group said Monday. During an emergency meeting, the leadership of the former exile group decided to "fire Mithal al-Alusi from the Iraqi National Conference," spokesman Haidar al-Mousawi told The Associated Press. (  

© 2004 Al Bawaba (

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