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Iraq offers Iran a concession on POW exchange

Iraq agreed yesterday to an Iranian proposal to exchange all sick and wounded prisoners of war. This was the first concrete result of United Nations' mediation efforts since a cease-fire in the Gulf war took effect in August. An Iraqi communiqu'e said Baghdad was ready to start immediately the repatriation of all sick and wounded prisoners identified by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The atmosphere in the Gulf talks, begun Aug. 25, had deteriorated as both sides' envoys had spent increasing long bargaining sessions without being able to report progress on specific issues.

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They have been unable to agree on a withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Iran and the exchange of more than 100,000 prisoners.

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