U.S. defense secretary offers Saddam a deal to put an end terror in Iraq, London-based al-Quds al-Arabia says
By Roee Nahmias, Ynetnews, Israel
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld paid former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein a surprise visit during his trip to Iraq two weeks ago, an Arab newspaper reported on Thursday.
Only a few Iraqi officials in Jordan knew about this meeting, the London based Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily newspaper reported. It said Rumsfeld offered Saddam freedom and a possible return to public life in return for a televised request to armed Iraqi terrorists for a cease-fire with foreign liberating forces.
However, according to sources, Saddam rejected the offer.
Two weeks ago, the British Telegraph newspaper reported that Iraqi gunmen were offered a “deal” to halt all terror attacks in return for a reduced sentence for Saddam, who is expected to receive the death penalty.
However, an Iraqi government official estimated that Saddam’s Baath party will request to return to politics.
There are claims that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during his last visit to Iraq met with ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
According to a news article based on Iraqi Baath sources in Jordan published in the London based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, Rumsfeld met with Saddam in his cell in Bagdat (Baghdad) and the US Secretary of Defense asked Saddam to end the insurgence. The paper claims that Rumsfeld asked him on a television broadcast to make a call for insurgents to end the resistence against US and multi-national forces as well as the Iraqi security forces.
Rumsfeld in return offered a release and exile of the administrators of the overthrown Iraqi regime or those who are willing to be involved in the government after negotiations.
Baath sources in Jordan have reported that Saddam refused the offer.
Article nr. 11380 sent on 28-apr-2005 21:43 ECT