Allawi: no unilateral peace with Israel

July 26, 2004 at 11:35 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, July 26 (UPI) -- Iraqi Premier Iyad Allawi Monday denied a ban on travel to Israel had been lifted and said there would be no unilateral peace deals with Israel.

He said Iraq's future relations with Israel depended on achieving a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East endorsed by Arab leadership.

"Iraq will not act unilaterally or engage in any unilateral settlement with Israel," Allawi told reporters in Lebanon.

He also said a report by the Saudi daily al-Sharq al-Awsat saying Iraq's travel ban to Israel was lifted was "inaccurate."

He said the old Iraqi passports carried the names of banned countries including Israel, the United States, Egypt and Iran.

"The new Iraqi passport has become more proper and suitable as it does not mention such countries, but that does not mean lifting the travel ban to Israel whose violation is still punishable by law," Allawi said.

Allawi also announced a new strategic Lebanese-Iraqi committee to consolidate political, economic and trade relations.

His Lebanese counterpart, Rafik Hariri, said Iraq was ready to reactivate a pipeline that linked Kirkuk oilfield to Lebanon's northern port city of Tripoli, which has been closed since the 1970's.

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