Monday, September 13, 2004

Iraqi National Congress Member Fired for Visiting Israel

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has fired one of its most senior members for visiting Israel, a spokesman for the group said Monday.

During an emergency meeting, the leadership of the former exile group decided to 'fire Mithal al-Alusi from the Iraqi National Conference,' spokesman Haidar al-Mousawi told The Associated Press.

Al-Alusi's visit to a terrorism conference angered his colleagues, who said they learned about the trip from the media. A part of Chalabi's inner circle, al-Alusi headed the de-Baathification Committee, which fired thousands of members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from their jobs.

Israel's daily Haaretz quoted al-Alusi as saying that many elements in Iraq are interested in diplomatic ties with Israel.

'His statements, which were carried by the media, do not represent the Iraqi National Congress' point of view,' an INC statement said."