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Iraqi Official: No Special Demands for Arabs

Iraq's foreign minister said Tuesday his country will not make specific demands on fellow Arabs who are meeting in Cairo this week to consider the U.S.-Iraq crisis and the Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Sabri, arriving here a day before an Arab League foreign ministers meeting, said "Iraq will participate in discussing the threats against all the Arab nations."

"We will not present any requests during this session."

The Arab foreign ministers are also expected to discuss developments in the Palestinian territories. The Iraqi issue has not been formally added to the agenda.

"The whole world rejects ... the rule of the jungle adopted by extremists and Zionists within the U.S. administration of evil," Sabri added.

All Arab countries oppose a U.S. strike on Iraq, but some Arab governments wanted to urge Iraq to allow the return of U.N. weapons inspectors.

Baghdad has sought instead a message of Arab support, according to Arab diplomats.

"We call for the implementation of the Security Council resolutions. What concerns us, we implement. The return of the inspectors is part [of these resolutions]," Sabri said.

U.S. officials have indicated -- and Iraqi officials have said they fear -- that the return of weapons inspectors would not necessarily stave off a U.S. military strike.

Egypt has opposed a U.S. military strike on Iraq, saying that an additional hot spot in the region will lead to "chaos" and increased popular anger.

Iraq said Tuesday it was ready to discuss a return of U.N. weapons inspectors, but only in a broader context of ending sanctions and restoring Iraqi sovereignty over all its territory. The United Nations says the inspectors must be admitted unconditionally.