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France welcomes Iraqi decision to reintegrate some Baathists


Paris : France has welcomed the decision by Iraq’s parliament to allow for the rehabilitation of certain Baathists who did not hold senior positions during the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein.

The Iraqi parliament has now decided to allow lower level members of the Baath party to be reintegrated in jobs in the public service, and all former members will receive pensions, according to a new law.

“The adoption of a revision of the deBaathification (law) constitutes one of the most awaited elements of the political process supported by the international community,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Pascale Andreani said Monday.

“We are delighted that the Iraqi parliament ruled this way because we always believed that it was up to Iraqis to decide their own future,” she said.

Andreani repeated her government’s support for national reconciliation and an easing of the tensions in Iraq.

She said France was still willing to host “a conference of inter-Iraqi entente,” a proposal that so far has not been accepted by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

“It is up to the different parties now to envisage how to follow up on this,” the French spokeswoman said.