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Iraqi UN ambassador leaves for Baghdad

Iraq's UN envoy Mohammed, who defended the Saddam's regime in the Security Council, hopeful of early pull out of US forces.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2003 10:30 IST

Iraq's United Nations ambassador Mohammed al-Douri, who vigorously defended the Saddam Hussein regime in the Security Council against a US-led attack against Baghdad, hoped American forces would leave his country soon and there would be free elections.

Al Douri, who left New York for Paris on way to Syrian capital Damascus, said before leaving that "I hope the US army will leave Iraq soon and we will have free elections, free government and a free future for the people of Iraq".

He hoped that ties between Iraq and US would improve one day. "I will see you, I hope, in a peaceful time with a good friendship between Iraq and the United States," he told reporters.

Douri, the first to admit that the "game is over" said Saddam was no longer in the government, "so we are looking to the future," adding "we have to work together to have this peaceful relationship between Iraq and the United States," he said.

He also explained in an interview to an Arab television network his reasons for not willing to stay around in the United Nations following Saddam's fall. "I could not work in a country that is destroying my nation and killing my people".

The ambassador said he was worried about his family in Baghdad with whom he apparently did not have contact for several days. "I would try finding my people once I am in Damascus," he said.

Friday was his last day at UN and he bid good byes to his colleagues among whom he was quite popular.

However, the Iraqi mission to the UN would continue to function in his absence with one of his deputies taking over as charge 'd affaires.

First Published: Apr 12, 2003 10:30 IST