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A Kurdish Leader Assails Heads of Arab Nations for Backing Hussein's Rule

Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish leader who is expected to take a senior post in Iraq’s interim government, said today that the heads of Arab countries should be called to account for Saddam Hussein’s crimes against the Iraqi people. Mr. Talabani spoke in an interview on a day of political meetings between ranking American military and civilian reconstruction officials. He said that the discovery of mass graves in several locations around the country underscores the responsibility that Arab leaders must take for their support for Mr. Hussein and the Baath Party, which built and enforced his totalitarian rule. “The Arab governments must come and see those mass graves and decide what kinds of crimes were committed by Saddam Hussein,” Mr. Talabani said. “And then they must go to the Iraqi people and apologize.” Taken together, the remarks by the two Iraqi political figures appeared to be timed to head off mounting criticism in the Arab world suggesting that the United States is attempting to install a group of American-financed exiles and Kurds as the new government. A new Iraqi government appears likely to challenge many long-held Arab positions on democracy, human rights and relations with Israel. Full Story

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