Iraqi National Congress Member Fired

Wext: Tuesday, 14.September. @ 00:00:00 CEST


13. Sep. 2004 BAGHDAD, Iraq - Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has fired one of its most senior members for visiting Israel, a spokesman for the group said Monday.

During an emergency meeting, the leadership of the former exile group decided to "fire Mithal al-Alusi from the Iraqi National Conference," spokesman Haidar al-Mousawi told The Associated Press.

Al-Alusi's visit to a terrorism conference angered his colleagues, who said they learned about the trip from the media. A part of Chalabi's inner circle, al-Alusi headed the de-Baathification Committee, which fired thousands of members of Saddam Husseins Baath Party from their jobs.

Israel's daily Haaretz quoted al-Alusi as saying that many elements in Iraq are interested in diplomatic ties with Israel.

"His statements, which were carried by the media, do not represent the Iraqi National Congress' point of view," an INC statement said.

Iraq had been one of Israel's harshest enemies in the Arab world until the collapse of Saddam's regime. Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has said Iraq will not make any move to normalize relations with Israel before other Arab nations do so.

Chalabi is a former member of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council and currently is a member of the National Council, a 100-member transitional assembly intended to serve as a watchdog over the interim Iraqi government until January elections.

Once a Pentagon favorite, Chalabi fell from grace among Washington officials this spring amid allegations his group alerted Iran that the United States had broken a secret Iranian communications code. Chalabi denies that.

Al-Mousawi, the INC spokesman in Baghdad, said he was not aware of previous contacts between INC officials and Israelis.

Source: AP

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