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Iraqi Official Denounces Bush UN Speech - 2002-09-13

An Iraqi official has denounced President George Bush's speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, saying it was full of lies about Iraq. But reaction was more varied in other parts of the Arab world.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Friday praised Mr. Bush's speech to the U.N.'s General Assembly.

Mr. Mubarak said he welcomed the door the United States has opened for the United Nations, especially the Security Council, to play a pivotal role in resolving the Iraqi dispute.

Following Mr. Bush's speech Qatar's foreign minister, Hamad Bin Jasim, said he recently met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and urged him to comply with U.N. resolutions.

These resolutions call for Iraq to allow full access to weapons inspectors. Mr. Jasim said Iraq's unconditional compliance would mean greater stability for Iraq, Qatar and the region.

But some Arab officials warn that even if the Iraqi leader refuses to allow weapons inspections, that alone will not justify military action. They say the U.N. Security Council must approve any attack.

Osama El Baz, a political adviser to President Mubarak, said Friday that no country has the right to seek a regime change in another country without U.N. sanction.

An editorial in Syria's ruling party newspaper criticized Mr. Bush's speech, saying it ignored the real problems of the Arab world, including Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, told reporters in Baghdad that he is planning to refute Mr. Bush's speech, sentence by sentence, at a later date.