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Middle East leaders welcome news

By CNN's Caroline Faraj


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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Kuwait was the first Middle Eastern country to comment on the capture of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

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Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sobah Al Ahmad Al Sobah expressed his happiness at the news.

"Saddam committed several crimes against his own people and also tortured them and misused their resources, and threatened the Arab unity and delayed their cooperation, in addition to the fact that he was a great threat to his neighbors, and was the reason behind the unstable conditions in the whole region while he was ruling Iraq," he said.

In Cairo, Amr Musa, Secretary General of the Arab League, called the capture of Saddam "The total end of the previous regime."

"Saddam arrest is very important event, and the Iraqi people should have a say in this matter," he said.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher said he learned about Saddam's arrest in a telephone call from his U.S. counterpart, Colin Powell.

He added that he made it clear to Powell that he hoped the Iraqi people would now enjoy ruling their own country, and things would be easier.

Maher also expressed his hope that Saddam would have a fair trial before Iraqi judges.

The Jordanian government said it hoped a page had been turned and that the Iraqi people would be able to assume their responsibilities as soon as possible and build their future according to their will.

The first and last word concerning the capture of Saddam Hussein or his fate must be given to the Iraqi people, the government said.


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