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Xinhua General News ServiceMay 5, 2005
The Pentagon denied on Wednesday that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld met with former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein during his visit to the Mideast country last month.
"The Al Quds news report out of London that Secretary Rumsfeld recently met with Saddam Hussein is not only false but the allegation that he negotiated with Saddam is absolutely ludicrous, " Pentagon Spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said in a statement.
Di Rita said the report was "an attempt to undermine the integrity of the Iraqi government and its new judicial system."
He said Rumsfeld did meet with leaders of the recently elected Iraqi transitional government, and that Saddam remained in the custody of the Iraqi government and "his fate will be determined by the Iraqi people."
Rumsfeld made a one-day visit to Iraq early last month, his ninth visit to the country since the 2003 invasion by US-led forces, during which he urged Iraq's new leaders to avoid political purges or cronyism and warned them against any delay in the political timetable.
According to Arab Press Reports, this meeting between Saddam and Rumsfeld did take place. See the detailed report of this meeting in:
Rumsfeld l’a rencontré lors de son récent séjour en Irak Saddam rejette l’offre Américaine by Abdelkamel K (French)
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