|11-03-2005, 11:51 PM||#1|
Mo' holla fo' yo' dolla!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a bunker in an undisclosed location
UAE says Saddam accepted exile offer before invasion
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saddam Hussein accepted an 11th-hour offer to flee into exile weeks ahead of the U.S. -led 2003 invasion, but Arab League officials scuttled the proposal, officials in this Gulf state claimed.
The exile initiative was spearheaded by the late president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at an emergency Arab summit held in Egypt in February 2003, Sheik Zayed's son said in an interview aired by Al-Arabiya TV during a documentary. The U.S.-led coalition invaded on March 19 that year.
A top government official confirmed the offer on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Saddam allegedly accepted the offer to try halt the invasion and bring elections to Iraq within six months, claimed the official and Sheik Zayed's son.
"We had the final acceptance of the various parties ... the main players in the world and the concerned person, Saddam Hussein," the son, Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said during the program aired Thursday to mark the first anniversary of his father's death.
Sheik Zayed's initiative would have given Saddam and his family exile and guarantees against prosecution in return for letting Arab League and U.N. experts run Iraq until elections could be held in six months, the official said.