Russian official said to meet with U.S.-controlled Iraqi opposition

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Sep 2 17:52:53 MDT 2002


 [CubaNews]


August 31:

A CHANGE OF COURSE ON IRAQ? A Russian Foreign Ministry source has confirmed
that one of its diplomats in Washington met with a top representative
of Iraq's main opposition group, Reuters reports. On August 29th, a source
within the Iraqi National Congress had claimed that its top official in
Washington held two hours of talks with a Russian embassy official. The
anonymous Russian Foreign Ministry source told the Interfax news agency,
however, that the meeting was "routine diplomatic work" and "in no way"
implied "a change in Russia's policy towards the Iraqi leadership."

Still, speculation is mounting about a Russian change of course on regime
change in Baghdad. Izvestia quotes another anonymous Russian Foreign
Ministry official as saying that Washington has promised Moscow that if it
showed "understanding" in issues involving Saddam, the regime that replaced
him in Iraq would honor contracts signed with Russian oil companies. The
meeting in Washington between the Russian diplomat and the Iraqi National
Congress representative probably concerned this issue, the source told the
Russian newspaper.

- Jonas Bernstein

Copyright (c) 2002, American Foreign Policy Council


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