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Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 13:28 GMT
Iraqi press attacks Israel and Washington
Weapons inspectors leave UN compound watched by Iraqi soldier
The weapons inspectors have started their work
The day UN weapons inspectors began work in Baghdad, newspapers in Iraq have not been seen to comment directly on their return, saving their venom for attacks on the US and Israel.

Similarly, in the wider Arab world the press has concentrated on the broader issues, like the US military threat against Iraq.

The following are quotes from the internet sites of leading Iraqi and Arab dailies.

Iraq's al-Thawrah, the ruling Baath Party daily

The Zionist entity, like America, is a weapon of mass destruction... A weapon that has been used for more than a half-a-century... with all its dangers to the whole world... Why the silence? And until when?

Iraq wants its people and the whole region to avoid war. For its part Iraq will respect international legality because the American administration has wrapped itself in the cloak of the UN Security Council... If America carries out an attack, it will be flagrant and unjustified... The logic of things says that it is not in the interest of Iraq to create a crisis halfway through...

The ghosts which are currently frightening the Americans in Kabul, Gardez and other Afghan cities are a recurrence of the ghosts which terrified them in the Vietnamese towns and villages... If the US was able to cover some of its defeats in Vietnam, there is no opportunity to do so in Afghanistan. If one of the traits of rational politicians is to listen to advice, there is no choice but for Bush's administration to abandon its stupidity, give up flexing its muscles and stop its threats.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz speaking about Iraqi opposition support for the weapons inspectors, quoted by government daily al-Jumhuriyah

There are people who are connected to the US Plan... and who are financed by US intelligence, who are slandering their country by alleging that there are weapons of mass destruction here. They are liars and mercenaries. We have no common language with them.

Saudi Arabia's pro-government al-Riyadh

The US crisis with the Islamic world is very critical, and is on the verge of explosion... It is in the US' interest not to be carried away by its extreme right-wing.

Palestinian Authority-owned al-Hayat al-Jadidah

Whether or not Iraq admits to the existence of weapons of mass destruction, it will face aggression... In this case, Iraq should purchase weapons of mass destruction and hand them over to the inspectors.

London-based pan-Arab, pro-Libyan, al-Arab al-Alamiyah

Should Bush implement his threats [against Iraq] he will enter history as the worst US president who will have, with these policies, caused a historic disaster

United Arab Emirates' Albayane

Day and night, the US is threatening Iraq, so much so that the Iraqis are actually experiencing the effects of severe psychological warfare... The Americans will escalate their hostile and provocative statements against Iraq in order to push it into making a mistake, even unintentionally, which will give war-thirsty Washington the opportunity to implement its military plans

United Arab Emirates' al-Khaleej

No one can guarantee that the US and Israel have not planted any agents among the inspectors as happened in 1998, according to the inspectors themselves

Egypt's pro-government al-Akhbar

Iraq is seriously committed to ending the problem of weapons of mass destruction... Once this is done, the whole world hopes to see an end to the suffering of the Iraqi people and to the aggression against it

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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