Monday, May 01, 2006

Iraqi armed rebels 'ready for peace'

"Ready for peace" is a euphemism for "want to surrender"

THE Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, claimed a peace deal with seven armed Sunni rebel groups was within reach after he met their representatives yesterday.

A spokesman for the president's office said Mr Talabani was optimistic that they would agree to lay down their arms.

I think we may reach an agreement with seven armed groups that visited me," his office said in a statement.

Mr Talabani's spokesman, Kamran Qaradaghi, refused to identify the seven groups, although they were believed to be Sunni Arab insurgents.

It was the first time a senior Iraqi official had acknowledged meeting figures from such rebel groups, although United States officials say privately they have talked with Iraqis claiming to have contacts with insurgents.

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