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PUK leader Jalal Talabani to arrive in Tehran Monday

Tehran, Jan 5, IRNA -- Head of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Jalal Talabani, heading a high ranking delegation of PUK's political officials will arrive here on Monday.

An informed source in the Iraqi Kurdish movement opposed to the Iraqi regime said that Talabani is slated to stay in Tehran through Friday and will confer with high ranking Iranian officials on regional developments and Iraq's future.

This visit comes on the heels of the December meeting of opponents of the Iraqi regime in London and following his previous visit to Iran in November.

Talabani had earlier said that Iraqi opposition groups will welcome any kind of support from the outside to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein, but says he is opposed to US forces staying in the country.

"I don't think (an American occupation) is a good idea. The important thing is to rely on the Iraqi people and the Iraqi opposition for the fundamental democratic changes in Iraq," Talabani said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper in November.

In October the Kurdish parliament endorsed a US-brokered deal between the two main Kurdish groups, which advocates sharing control of northern Iraq, the English-language daily 'Iran News' added.

The assembly unanimously ratified the agreement signed in Washington in September 1998 by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) chief Masoud Barzani and Talabani, who attended the chamber's first session with all its members since bloody clashes between their factions peaked in 1996.

The KDP holds 51 seats in the regional parliament elected in 1992 and the PUK 49, while five seats are reserved for Assyrian Christians, it added.

... Payvand News - 1/6/03 ... --

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