Gorbachev to Meet With Iraqi Foreign Minister
MOSCOW — 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.