'American Muslim People
Pray For The Victory Of Iraq'
BAGHDAD (AFP) - U.S. black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan met with two ministers
from President Saddam Hussein's government here Saturday, and called for a lifting
of the sanctions gripping the country, a state report said.
"Mr. Farrakhan reaffirmed his solidarity with the Iraqi people and stressed the need to lift the embargo," in place since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the official INA news agency said.
"The American Muslim people pray for the victory of Iraq, under the leadership of President Saddam Hussein," Farrakhan was quoted as saying during his tours by Health Minister Oumid Medhat Mubarak and Religious Affairs Minister Abdel Moomen Ahmad Saleh.
The ministers showed Farrakhan the "consequences of the embargo imposed on Iraq, which has caused the deaths of 1.6 million people so far, because of the extreme lack of medicine and supplies," INA said.
Farrakhan arrived in Iraq earlier Saturday for a trip he says is aimed at preventing a possible U.S. military strike on the country.
His visit also comes amid a breakdown in talks in Vienna between the United Nations and Iraq on a return of weapons inspectors after a three-year hiatus.
The United States has threatened to topple Saddam from power as part of its post-
September 11 anti-terrorism drive. It accuses his regime of developing weapons of mass destruction.
But Baghdad has insisted that the crippling embargo must be lifted before UN weapons inspectors can return.
"We will see what we can do to avoid the escalation of a possible war," Farrakhan, currently on a tour of Islamic countries, told reporters on his arrival in Baghdad overnight.
Farrakhan, the head of Nation of Islam who once called Adolf Hitler a great man, said he would "do all in his capacity" to prevent war.