Iraqi adviser: Insurgent called me, wants to talk

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November 22, 2005 23:52
1 minute read.

 
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President Jalal Talabani's security adviser said Tuesday he had received a call from a man claiming to be an insurgent official who wants to talk with the government. The statement comes two days after Talabani said in Egypt he was ready for talks with anti-government opposition figures and members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party. He called the Sunni-led insurgents to lay down their weapons and join the political process. Presidential adviser Lt. Gen. Wafiq al-Samaraei told Qatar's Al-Jazeera television that "I received a call from a person who claimed to be a senior official of the resistance. I informed him that I welcome him in a meeting to hear from him, but this doesn't indicate our acceptance of their demands because according to our responsibility we should listen to them." Al-Samaraei, a former head of military intelligence under Saddam, did not identify the caller or say to which insurgent group he claimed to belong. Talabani insisted Sunday the Iraqi government would not meet with Baath Party members who are participating in the Sunni-led insurgency. Talabani made clear, however, that he would talk with insurgents and "criminals" only if they put down their weapons.

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