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Iran's President sets prerequisites for Iraqi Foreign Minister's visit: press

Tehran, Jan 8, IRNA -- The Islamic Republic has set preconditions for the visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri to Tehran, the Wednesday edition of the English-language daily 'Tehran Times' quoted a source as saying.

The source said on the condition of anonymity that the main reason behind the postponement of the visit is the prerequisites set by President Mohammad Khatami.

President Khatami has instructed Vice President for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mohammad Ali Abtahi to agree with the trip of Sabri to Iran only if all conditions of Iran are fulfilled.

The conditions were put forth during Sabri's previous trip to Iran but Iraq has not taken any measure in this regard.

Naji was scheduled to visit Tehran this week. The visit drew sharp criticism of some MPs.

The conditions Khatami has put forth include: Iraq must once again officially announce its commitment to the Algiers Treaty of 1975; must announce its commitment to full implementation of the UN Resolution 598 and pay war indemnities to Iran; must apologize to the Iranian nation for imposing an eight-year war on Iran; and must release all Iranian POWs -- those registered and those kept in Iraq but considered missing in action.

A meeting of the high council of the Foreign Ministry was held on Monday this week where President Khatami's instruction was read. The ministry decided to remind Baghdad of all the conditions and postpone Sabri's visit till those conditions are fulfilled.

The ministry also decided to send an envoy to Baghdad to brief the Iraqi officials on the issue.

Following the said developments the Parliament cancelled the impeachment of Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi. However, some MPs announced that they will not withdraw until achieving their objectives that is protecting national interests.

According to the paper, if Saddam complies completely with Iran's conditions, ties will be resumed with Baghdad, an MP said.

... Payvand News - 1/8/03 ... --

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