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Saddam Hussein won't offer condolences to Bush

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said Wednesday he will not offer condolences to U.S. President George W. Bush for those killed in terror attacks because the United States is "launching a war on us" and his condolences would be hypocritical.

In a meeting with a representative of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Saddam said, "Bush wants us to pay our condolences, but if I were to do that I would not be respecting my people. Bush is the president of a state that is launching a war on us ... in a mean, terroristic manner.

"And if I offered condolences to its president, this would be hypocrisy, and we are not hypocrites. Since offering condolences is a kind of courtesy between states, but we offered condolences to small organizations in America and to an American personality [Ramsey Clark] who came to extend condolences for America's calamities against us."

Saddam's remarks were reported by the Iraqi News Agency.

Clark, a former attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson, has spent most of the past 30 years working on international human rights issues. He has been critical of U.S. sanctions against Iraq, which he says have cost thousands of lives.


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