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Iraq’s U.N. Envoy: ‘The Game Is Over’

April 9, 2003

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ Iraq’s U.N. ambassador said Wednesday ``the game is over″ _ and that means the war is over. Mohammed Al-Douri expressed hope that the Iraqi people will now be able to live in peace. His comments were the first admission by an Iraqi official that U.S.-led forces had overwhelmed Iraqi forces after a three-week campaign.

``My work now is peace,″ he told reporters outside his New York residence. ``The game is over, and I hope the peace will prevail. I hope the Iraqi people will have a happy life.″

Al-Douri was asked what he meant when he said ``the game is over.″

``The war,″ he responded.

When asked about Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Al-Douri said he had no ``relationship with Saddam.″

``I have no communication with Iraq,″ the ambassador said.

Questioned about Al-Douri’s comments, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said: ``Well, I would say it wasn’t a game, first.″

Speaking in Washington, Rumsfeld said the war was ``over″ when Saddam refused to accept his last chance to cooperate with the U.N. disarmament resolutions. ``It was only a matter of time after that.″

Rumsfeld added that there was still lots of ``difficult, dangerous″ work ahead in Iraq.

Earlier, Al-Douri told Associated Press Television News: ``This is a war, and there will be a winner and someone who is a loser.″

When asked what he thought about scenes being broadcast from Baghdad, he said, ``Well I don’t know really, I watch the television like you.″

He said that because of the war he has been unable to contact any government officials ``for a long time.″

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