• Short Summary

    The Vice Chairman of Iraq's ruling Revolutionary Command Council, Mr. Saddam Hussein, is in Moscow?

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    The Vice Chairman of Iraq's ruling Revolutionary Command Council, Mr. Saddam Hussein, is in Moscow to confer with Soviet leaders Mr. Hussein met Soviet Prime Minister, Alexei Kosygin, one Monday (11 December) and the two leaders were reported to have discussed joint opposition to the Camp David peace plans as well as the question of Soviet arms supplies to Iraq.

    SYNOPSIS: Relations between Iraq and Moscow have been uneasy over the last year. The two countries supported opposing sides int he Horn of Africa conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia, and Iraq has clamped down on members of the Communist Party. But there were no signs of tension when the two sides met in the Kremlin on Monday.

    One of the prime reasons for Mr. Hussein's visit to Moscow is reported to be the question of arms supplies. Iraq's neighbour, Syria, recently asked Moscow to increase its supply of arms. But the Soviet Union says it plans to reassess the military needs of Syria and Iraq, following the new military alliance recently agreed to by the two countries.

    Mr. Hussein is expected to ask for assurances that Iraq's military supplies will not be affected by the Kremlin's new policy.

    On Dec. 11, 1978 late int he afternoon Soviet-Iraqi talks began with S.Hussein and A.Kosygin participating.

    They discussed international issues and some aspects of bilateral relations. Due attention was given tot he Middle-East situation resulting from separatist Egypt-Israel agreement inspired by US.

    Though political observers discuss exclusively the Middle-East aspect of Soviet-Iraqi negotiations, they are quite important because of some aspects of bilateral relations as well.

    For example: trade between the two countries comprises something worth of paying attention to. During the operation of the USSR-Iraq agreement on trade the two countries grew from 200.000. roubles in 1958 to 602.000.000. in 1977 with Soviet expert to Iraq increasing from zero to 281.000.000 roubles. The USSR imports from Iraq oil, dates, wool and raw leather.

    Official press release says Soviet-Iraq negotiations proceed successfully in the atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding.

    They will be continued.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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