Saddam wants to meet Putin

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has expressed a desire to get acquainted with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. This was announced today by Chairman of the Russian State Duma Gennady Seleznyov, who met with the Iraqi leader during his two-day visit to Baghdad. Mr. Seleznyov said that he was going to inform Vladimir Putin about the results of his meeting with Saddam Hussein. The speaker of the State Duma called reports on a worsening of the Iraqi leader’s state of health “absolute nonsense,” RBC reports. According to the Russian parliamentarian, judging by Hussein’s statements and by the analysis of the international situation, offered by him, one could say that “we deal with a country leader, authoritative in the Arab world.” Hussein, said Seleznyov, welcomes development of the relations between Russia and Iraq. The Iraqi leader stressed at the meeting with the speaker of the Russian parliament that Russia should not think that Iraq was jealous about the development of relations of Russia with Iran. Mr. Hussein also refuted assertions of some western experts concerning Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and called them “fiction.”