Jack Straw and Muammar Gaddafi ready to listen to kidnappers

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appealed today to kidnappers in Iraq to free British hostage Kenneth Bigley.

JANA, the state news agency, said Gaddafi wanted to hear from Bigley’s captors if they had any conditions for his release:

"The brother leader issued an appeal to the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/comp/2002/09/28/37398.html ' target=_blank>kidnappers saying: "We request the release of this poor Briton since his family had requested our help ... and if they have any conditions, convey them to us in any way possible’," JANA said.

He urged the British government to work with the interim &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/hotspots/2001/10/03/16941.html ' target=_blank>Iraqi government and the United States to heed the kidnappers’ demands to free Iraqi women prisoners, reports Scotsman News.

According to the Guardian, the government is ready to listen to a message from the kidnappers of Kenneth Bigley but will not enter into negotiations with them, the foreign secretary, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/diplomatic/2003/03/03/43925.html ' target=_blank>Jack Straw, said today.

Mr Straw, who is on a surprise visit to Iraq, spoke to reporters in Baghdad following his meeting with Iraq's deputy prime minister for national security, Barham Saleh.

The foreign secretary also spoke about the preparations taking place for elections in Iraq in January next year. He said violence must not upset the plans and that he had been "impressed and encouraged" by the progress made, including the creation of an electoral roll based on old food rationing records.

"People want stability and for the government to start reconstruction efforts in these areas," interim deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh told a news conference.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team