"I'm not aware of any provision in the draft for amnesty for those who might have killed Americans," John Negroponte told a group of foreign reporters at a lunch on Saturday.

 

It was the first time he gave statements to the press since assuming his diplomatic responsibilities in Iraq.


"My understanding is that there may have been at one point some language that was ambiguous and lent itself to the interpretation that somehow amnesty would be granted to people who had sought to harm coalition forces. My understanding is that ambiguity is no longer in the draft."

 

Washington surprise

 

Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had for weeks promised legislation that would provide partial amnesty to Iraqi resistance fighters who fought the occupation.

 

In late June, Allawi wrote in The Independent "the government will make a clear distinction between those Iraqis who have acted against the occupation out of a sense of desperation, and those foreign terrorist fundamentalists and criminals whose sole objective is to kill and maim innocent people and to see Iraq fail."

Did Allawi's amnesty plan face
opposition from Washington?

 

His comments, which did not sideline resistance fighters who killed US military personnel, caught Washington by surprise.

 

Ostensibly, amnesty legislation was postponed.

 

Never the less, Allawi is promising to announce the amnesty deal but has not given a firm date.

 

He has said this will not include murderers and kidnappers.