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Powell, Allawi Welcome Saudi Proposal to Send Muslim Force to Iraq - 2004-07-29


The United States and Iraq have welcomed a Saudi proposal, calling for the creation of a security force from Muslim countries to serve in Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Iraq's Prime Minister Iyad Allawi discussed the idea at a meeting today (Thursday) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Powell told reporters Muslim troops could be deployed in Iraq either separately or as a part of coalition forces.

Mr. Allawi called on the leaders of Islamic and Arab countries to join ranks in combating, what he described as, the forces of evil acting against Iraqis.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal discussed the proposed force during talks with Mr. Powell Wednesday (also in Jeddah).

A senior Saudi official says the force would be drawn from Muslim countries in the Middle East and Asia, but not Iraq's immediate neighbors.

Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.

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