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Egypt denies contacts with Iraqi Sunnis over elections
www.chinaview.cn 2005-01-07 09:18:56

    CAIRO, Jan. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Thursday denied reports that Egypt had persuaded Iraqi Sunnis into participating in the upcoming elections, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported.

    Abul Gheit also denied reports that Egypt would send observers to Iraq to monitor the elections scheduled for Jan. 30, saying Egypt has no intentions to do so and Iraq has not made such a request, said the report.

    The minister made the remarks after he returned to Cairo from the Jordanian capital of Amman where he attended a meeting of Iraq's neighbors.

    On Monday, visiting interim Iraqi Defense Minister Hazim Shaalan al-Khuzaei said here that Iraq has asked Egypt to convince the Sunni sect in Iraq of taking part in the elections.

    The largest Sunni Muslim political group in Iraq announced lastweek that it will not participate in the elections, citing relentless violence and inadequate time for preparation.

    The legitimacy of the planned elections are increasingly in doubt as several Iraqi groups decided to boycott it.

    Egypt, a Middle East country dominated by Sunni Muslims, has been pushing the Iraqi interim government for including Sunni Iraqis in the elections.

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