Iraqi ambassador to continue working in Russia (Part 2)
MOSCOW. April 11 (Interfax) - Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Abbas Khalaf has announced that he will continue representing Iraq in Moscow. "I represent Iraq and its people and will continue carrying out my duties until a legal government is formed in Iraq. It should be elected by the Iraqi people and recognized by the United Nations," he said.
Khalaf has dismissed allegations that he will seek political asylum in Russia. "I have not asked Russia or any other country for political asylum," he said. "Similar to the Russian Embassy in Baghdad, the Iraqi Embassy in Russia works in the usual regime and will continue doing so," he said. "I am remaining in Moscow and carrying out all functions of the Iraqi representative," he said.
Khalaf strongly denied assertions that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding in the Russian Embassy in Baghdad and the Russian diplomatic convoy was carrying his secret archives.
"The Americans are spreading such rumors to provoke Iraqis into aggression against the Russian diplomatic representation and justify the gunfire targeting Russian diplomats," he said.
On Sunday, Russian embassy staff headed by Ambassador Vladimir Titorenko were fired upon while leaving Baghdad. Several people were wounded in the attack. The United States has denied responsibility for the incident.