Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kurdish leaders deny deal to allow Palestinians in Iraq safe haven

Palestinian refugees in Iraq have been official numbered at about 25,000, but reports say that the number may be several times that.

AMMAN, Jordan: Kurdish officials denied Wednesday that the Iraqi government agreed to allow thousands of Palestinian refugees in Iraq safe haven in northern Kurdish areas.

Earlier Wednesday, a Palestinian official in Jordan said Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani had agreed to take in Palestinians fearing attacks by militias in other parts of Iraq.

"Such topics didn't occur during the visit of Palestinian delegation to Kurdistan," said Barzani's spokesman Fuad Hussein.

The Palestinian official, Hamadah Faraaneh, who said he helped negotiate the deal, said the agreement was brokered in Iraq last week following negotiations with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Barzani and other officials.

The discrepancy could not immediately be clarified, and Faraaneh could not be immediately reached for comment.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune