— By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Mohammed
Aldouri, said on Wednesday "the game is over" and he hoped the Iraqi
people soon would be able to live in peace.
Speaking to reporters in front of his residence and then at
Iraq's mission to the United Nations, he said: "The work now is
peace. We hope that peace will prevail."
"The game is over," Aldouri said in his first admission that
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein no longer controls Baghdad. "My hope
now is peace, for everybody. I hope that peace will prevail and the
Iraqi people at the end of the day will have a peaceful life."
Asked about the whereabouts of Saddam, the ambassador said he had
had no communications with Baghdad for some days.
"I have no relationship with Saddam so I can't tell you. I have
no communication with Iraq. I am here so I know nothing about what
is going on there," Aldouri said.
Rumors swept the United Nations that Aldouri was planning to
leave on Wednesday night on a flight to Paris. But by late evening
he was seen entering his residence in Manhattan and told reporters,
"I'll see you at the U.N. tomorrow."
The ambassador had been a defender of Saddam's government as its
chief U.N. representative, taking part in debates and maintaining
that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction and strongly
opposed the U.S. war efforts.
But he was liked personally among many colleagues.
When told about Aldouri's comments, British Ambassador Sir Jeremy
Greenstock said, "I pay tribute to him acknowledging it. He is a
"I hope he finds a decent life, representing a decent government.
He must wonder what his situation is now and I sympathize with him,"
Aldouri this week went about his duties at the United Nations,
including attending meetings of Arab ambassadors. He did not tell
any of his colleagues what his plans were or whether he would stay
in New York.
The current Iraqi government holds its U.N. seat until another
government hands in its credentials, something not expected to
happen for many months. But it is unknown whether the handful of
Iraqi diplomats in New York will stay on.
Aldouri took up his post in New York two years ago after serving
as Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations' European headquarters in
Geneva. He taught international law at Baghdad University for more
than 30 years before joining the Foreign Ministry in 1999 and is
known for his fluency in French.
|Iraqi soldiers are rounded up,
stripped and interrogated by the U.S. Marine Scouts of the
Second Tank Battalion after a short fire fight northeast of
Baghdad, April 9, 2003. Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Mohammed
Aldouri, said on Wednesday "the game is over" and he hoped the
Iraqi people soon would be able to live in peace. Speaking to
reporters in front of his residence and then at Iraq's mission
to the United Nations, he said: "The work now is peace. We
hope that peace will prevail." Photo by Reuters
Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or