Key Iraqi Opposition Movement Quits US-Backed Alliance

Published July 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A key Iraqi opposition group said Tuesday it was leaving a Washington-backed alliance in protest over its strategy, dealing a blow to US efforts to unite Saddam Hussein's opponents, reported The Associated Press.  

The announcement by the Iraqi National Accord (INA) that it was quitting the Iraqi National Congress came three days before an INC meeting in London to work out a new anti-Saddam strategy and bring more of his foes under its umbrella, said the agency.  

In a statement, the INA gave several reasons for leaving, including what it said was the London-based congress's close association with the United States.  

The Iraqi National Congress was set up after the 1991 Gulf War as an umbrella group for Iraqi opposition movements seeking to remove Saddam from power. But the groups have since failed to agree on a program of action because of their own political, ethnic and religious divisions, said the AP.  

Last week, US vice president Al Gore met with nine of the Congress leaders.  

US officials later said the meeting was a success, but that the real test will be whether they can agree on a program for a future Iraq without Saddam Hussein, said the AP.  

The opposition groups under the umbrella of the congress, are based in various locations, including England, Jordan, Syria, France and Saudi Arabia, said the agency - Albawaba.com 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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