Jumpy Kuwaitis doubt chance of early peace

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The Independent Online
KUWAIT CITY (Reuter) - Nervous Kuwaitis are hoping that the confrontation between Iraq and the United Nations will lead to a new military strike bringing about the downfall of Saddam Hussein but many see little chance of peace with their northern neighbour even if President Saddam does go.

'We didn't see Saddam Hussein in Kuwait, we saw 450,000 soldiers,' said Mohammed al- Ujeiri, editor-in-chief of Kuwait's official Kuna news agency, referring to the Iraqi invasion in August 1990. 'It wasn't Saddam who beat our brothers and killed our neighbours. There cannot be normal relations in our generation. There are many Saddam Husseins in Iraq.'

Kuwait's army is on alert and three cabinet ministers were due to leave today on a 10-day international tour designed to drum up support for stiffer measures against Baghdad. Kuwait City abounds with rumours, such as that Iraqi troops are on the borders or that US aircraft are heading towards Iraq.

JERUSALEM (Agencies) - Israel, hit by 39 Iraqi Scud missiles in the Gulf war, must be ready for new salvoes if the US again attacks Iraq, retired army general Mordechai Gur, designated to be Deputy Defence Minister in the government of the new Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, said on Israel Radio yesterday.

But Uri Orr, a reserve general and chairman of the powerful foreign affairs and defence committee, told journalists at the weekend: 'I do not expect an Iraqi attack. And I don't believe Israelis have to get their gas masks out of the cupboard.'