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Iraq Leader's Letter to Reagan: 'Deepest Regret'

May 19, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — The following is the text of the letter from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to President Reagan apologizing for the attack on the Navy frigate Stark:

I would like to express to you my deepest regret over the painful incident that has happened to the U.S. frigate Stark and to the victims lost in it.

I am confident of your certainty that the Iraqi planes which were operating in an area where they are used to attack enemy targets had no intention whatsoever to strike at a target belonging to your country or to any country other than Iran, which continues to commit aggression against our country and which bears fully the responsibility of disturbing the security and stability of the region as a whole.

I hope that this unintentional incident will not affect the relation between our two countries, which we wish to remain cordial on the basis of mutual respect, the rules of international conduct and our common interest in the preservation of peace and stability in the region.

This tragic incident emphasizes once again the urgent necessity that efforts should be brought together in order to bring the war to an end and to force the Iranian regime to accept peace in accordance with the rules of international law and the resolution of the (U.N.) Security Council with a view to sparing the region further bloodshed and losses. In this respect, we follow with great interest the effort made by your government in the Security Council.

I shall be grateful, Mr. President, if you kindly convey to the families of the victims of the incident my personal condolences and feeling of sympathy. I have instructed our ambassador to Washington to do the same and to explain our position to the American public opinion while reaffirming the wish of the Iraqi people to preserve the friendship with the people of the United States.

Accept, please, Mr. President, assurances of my highest consideration.

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