Seven Iraqi opposition groups have formed an organisation pledged to overthrow their president, Saddam Hussein, and to forge closer links with the revolutionary government in Iran.
CU INTERIOR Secretary-general of Kurdistan National Union Party, Jalal Talabani, speaking in Arabic in Damascus
CU PULL BACK TO SV Newsmen writing as Mr. Talabani speaks
SCU PAN Members of Front seated, listening to fellow member speaking
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Background: Seven Iraqi opposition groups have formed an organisation pledged to overthrow their president, Saddam Hussein, and to forge closer links with the revolutionary government in Iran. The groups announced the formation of the National Pan-Arab Democratic Front at a news conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Wednesday (12 November). Reuters News Agency said the Syrian government of President Hafez al-Assad is openly backing the Front.
SYNOPSIS: The secretary-general of the Kurdistan National Union Party, Mr. Jalal Talabani, declared the new organisation's Charter. The Front consists of eight parties. These include the Iraqi Communist Party, the Arab Socialist Movement, the Iraqi Socialist Party, and the Unified Kurdestani Socialist Party. Mr. Talabani said other Iraqi organisations were welcome to join.
The Front said it would start an armed rebellion inside Iraq, and use all other means to achieve its aims. It has promised to strengthen Iraqi links with the Soviet Union, and called for support for the Palestinians in their struggle for rights and an independent state.
The test of the charter was read by Abdel-Jabbar Koreissi, a dissident member of the Iraqi Baath Party. Members were told the Front would establish a democratic state and grant self-rule to Kurdistan in northern Iran. Among those present were members of Syria's ruling Progressive National Front, which is dominated by the Syrian Baath Party, a rival branch of the party which has power in Iraq. Syria has bitterly criticised President Hussein for going to war with Iran. Damascus contends the war is a diversion from the traditional Arab struggle against their primary foe, Israel, and can only benefit the United States.