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Allawi Says He Has Been Meeting With Iraqi Insurgents

30 August 2004 -- Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says he has been holding private meetings with representatives of insurgent groups in an effort to persuade them to accept a government amnesty offer.

Allawi is quoted in "The Washington Post" as telling foreign correspondents that he held talks with representatives of insurgents from cities including Al-Fallujah, Al-Ramadi, and Samarra.

The newspaper quoted Allawi as saying the meetings, some of which took place at his private home, began shortly after he assumed power in late June.

He said the talks have been aimed at splitting the insurgency by luring lower-ranking militants away from harder-core elements.

Allawi said he has not reached any agreements with the groups, but said some insurgents are taking the amnesty offer "seriously."