RealNews

Exiles meet Feb. 15 in Iraq

A Kurdish leader says members of the Iraqi opposition will arrive soon in northern Iraq for a conference to map out the political transition if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is ousted. Dissident exile groups that met Dec. 14-18 in London agreed to reconvene in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq on Jan. 15. The follow-up meeting, now planned for Feb. 15, was delayed by squabbling among opposition groups, logistical issues and — the organizers say — U.S. reluctance to provide air cover and other security. Fouad Masum, a leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, said Tuesday that the opposition was still negotiating with U.S. officials for air cover over Salahuddin, the mountain resort town where the meeting is to be. The PUK is one of two parties that control the Kurdish northern area of Iraq. Full Story

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