CEOL
Saddam ready to send troops to aid Serbia

BAGHDAD, Mar 6, 2000 -- (AFP) Iraq is prepared to send troops to Serbia, President Saddam Hussein has told a Serbian envoy, Monday's official press reported.

"We are against the aggression against you," Saddam told the speaker of Serbia's parliament, Dragan Tomic.

"Our position is voiced not only in words but by any means you consider useful, including our presence at your side to fight the aggression," he told Tomic, who is a senior official of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia.

"We oppose all those who want to divide your country because we are on the side of good and against evil," Saddam vowed.

He also seized the occasion to predict, once again, the defeat of the United States.

"The arm used by the United States against Iraq, against Yugoslavia and which they will probably use against others, will surely tire," the president told the delegation, which included Yugoslav minister without portfolio Zoran Vujovic.

"They will weaken more and more and will be defeated."

Saddam branded as "dogs" NATO forces which attacked Serbia last year and condemned "the Arabs who sided with the dogs against you".

He urged "the people of the whole world to unite in strength to show America its limits."

"It's the Zionists and not the Christians who set the American policy of killing Muslims throughout the world," Saddam said.

The Iraqi strongman said he opposed the break up of countries into ethnic or religious groupings and predicted that the United States, which he said encouraged the process, would also break up one day.

"One day this will turn against America which is playing the role of sorcerer's apprentice and I believe all the countries of the world will rejoice when America breaks up."

Iraq, repeatedly bombed by the United States and Britain since 1991 following Baghdad's invasion of Kuwait, backed Belgrade against NATO. Links between the two have strengthened in recent months.



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