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Iraqi President Willing to Talk with Insurgents

  • VOA News

Iraq's President Jalal Talabani says he is willing to hold talks with Iraqi insurgents and former regime members, but al-Qaida in Iraq rejected any possibility of dialogue. Speaking at a reconciliation conference in Cairo, Mr. Talabani said that, as president, he would meet with any Iraqi citizen, even those he called "criminals." He said there have been no such contacts so far with insurgents, whom he called on to disarm and join the political process. But al-Qaida in Iraq claimed in an Internet statement that it would continue launching attacks. Meanwhile, U.S. officials say they are studying reports that the terrorist group's leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in a raid in Mosul Saturday. A White House spokesman (Trent Duffy) said it was "highly unlikely." And three coalition soldiers -- two Americans and one Briton -- were reported dead in separate incidents in Iraq.
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