- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 17, 2002

LONDON (AP) A London newspaper reported yesterday that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has made secret plans for his family and leading members of his regime to be given political asylum in Libya in the event of a war with the United States.
However, Libyan Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassouna al-Shawish later denied the article in the Times and labeled it a "fabrication," according to the official Libyan news agency, JANA.
Quoting unidentified diplomatic sources in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the Times said Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has accepted a deal from Saddam to pay $3.5 billion into Libyan banks in return for the safe haven.
The Times said Col. Gadhafi stopped short of agreeing to provide refuge for Saddam or for Uday, his eldest son, but it said Libya would provide sanctuary to Saddam's extended family and about 12 senior officials of his Baghdad regime.
Syria had agreed to provide an overland escape route, allowing the Iraqis to fly on to Libya, the paper said.
It said Gen. Ali Hasan al-Majid, a cousin and trusted member of Saddam's clan, had traveled to Tripoli to negotiate the deal. JANA quoted Mr. Shawish as saying that Mr. Majid's visit in September was part of a tour of a number of Arab countries as Saddam's personal envoy to outline the latest developments in Iraq.

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