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Iraq's Maliki renews accusations against Saddam's family

Written by: Staff
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KUWAIT, July 5 (Reuters) Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki today vowed to seek the arrest of 41 people on a most-wanted list of supporters of terrorist acts in Iraq, including Saddam Hussein's daughter and first wife.

''These names that had been announced are the names of people, including Saddam's family, who take part in supporting the terrorist operations,'' Maliki said.

''We will work to seek them out, demand they be handed over or at least be muzzled and not allowed to use some brotherly and friendly Arab states as a launchpad for their terrorist operations,'' Maliki told a news conference in Kuwait.

The list announced on Sunday included the leader of al Qaeda's Iraq wing, top Baathists, and Saddam's daughter Raghd and her mother Sajida who live in Jordan and Qatar respectively.

Amman said on Monday Raghd and her children were guests of the royal family and did not engage in any political activities.

In Amman, officials said Maliki had phoned Jordan's King Abdullah to postpone a visit planned for Thursday due to the current situation in Iraq.

Maliki told the news conference he had intended to go to Jordan on his way back from a tour of some Gulf states to emphasis that the issue would not create a crisis.

''We are asking all our brethren, especially Jordan, to impose barriers so these opposition people do not play a role that supports the terrorist operation,'' Maliki said.

The Iraqi premier also said he sensed an understanding from the Sunni-led Gulf Arab states for a his national reconciliation bid, which aims at ending a three-year-old Sunni insurgency and sectarian violence.

Maliki said the Shi'ite-led government extends its hand to all factions, but that the amnesty did not include those who murdered people. ''We will never give amnesty to a killer.'' Maliki, whose delegation included the ministers of oil, electricity and others, called on Arabs to invest in Iraq, saying the security situation was not a hindrance anymore.

''If we exclude all the so-called hot spots, there are quiet regions suitable for investments in the various energy, electricity, agriculture, building and construction sectors.'' Asked if he discussed reducing Iraqi debts to the Gulf Arab states, he said he had asked Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to provide tangible support towards boosting investment in Iraq and to a donors conference in September that will discuss lower the country's debts further.

''They promised us good tidings, God willing,'' he said.

REUTERS SHB BD2233

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