Gorbachev to Meet With Iraqi Foreign Minister
Soviet envoy Yevgeny Primakov and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein agreed in Baghdad that Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and President Mikhail Gorbachev would meet in Moscow on Monday. A spokesman for Gorbachev said Wednesday that results of the talks in Baghdad between Gorbachev's envoy and the Iraqi leader gave ``cause for hope.''
The Soviet Union was Baghdad's main supplier of arms and military aid for decades. Moscow joined in UN sanctions against Iraq after its Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait. But Moscow has maintained diplomatic contacts and expressed a desire for a political solution.
Primakov flew to Baghdad this week amid signs of official unease in Moscow over the growing scale of US-led military operations against Iraq. Soviet officials have expressed concern about heavy civilian casualties.
A French government spokesman said Wednesday Kremlin leaders had made clear to Paris they saw Primakov's mission as Moscow's final effort to persuade Saddam to quit Kuwait.