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Iraq: Arab League Leader Says UN Inspectors' Return Likely

Prague, 7 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The leader of the Arab League says there is a "strong possibility" Iraq will allow UN weapons inspectors back into the country. Amr Moussa, speaking during a visit to Italy, said today the inspectors would have unlimited access to "whatever sites" they might want to examine.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said today that it is "essential" that an effective regime should be put in place to monitor weapons inspections in Iraq. Blair was speaking while traveling to the U.S. where he will meet later today with U.S. President George W. Bush for talks on Iraq.

Bush is trying to mobilize support both at home and abroad for a possible attack on Iraq, which Washington accuses of continuing to make weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, in comments published today, said Saddam Hussein and not Bush was responsible for bringing the crisis to a head.

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Said Sahaf said today the United States does not care whether weapons inspectors return to Iraq. He said that U.S. officials have made clear they want Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ousted from power.