Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Saddam still Iraq leader: Gaddafi

From The Australian, correspondents in Rome, March 21, 2006. . .

LIBYAN leader Muammar Gaddafi said Saddam Hussein should still be considered Iraq's legal president and the current government illegitimate as it was elected under an occupation regime.

In an interview with the Italian Sky TG24 television channel, he slammed the practice of sending in troops to get rid of heads of state, saying by that theory he could be next.

"Saddam Hussein cannot be tried because he is a prisoner of war and under the Geneva Convention should be released at the end of hostilities," Col. Gaddafi said. "Saddam is still to be considered the legal president of Iraq because he was not overthrown by the people but by the occupation forces... ..It is dangerous to send troops to eliminate heads of state who are not appreciated, because tomorrow it could be the turn of Castro, Gaddafi or Mugabe, or even China and North Korea," he said......

.....He said the US should get out of Iraq in its own interests "because the Iraqis are no longer afraid of the Americans so that the murder of US soldiers has become routine".

Libya and the US resumed direct diplomatic relations in June 2004 - after a gap of 24 years during which US planes bombed Tripoli in 1986 - following Gaddafi's announcement of a program to destroy his weapons of mass destruction.

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