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Population To Return To Faw Peninsula

October 14, 1989 GMT

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ The population of the war-devastated city of Faw will be allowed to return later this month, the governor of neighboring Basra said Saturday.

Iraq is planning major celebrations Oct. 25 to mark the inauguration of the new city and its reopening to civilians. The port city of about 50,000 people was evacuated immediately after the Iran-Iraq war broke out in September 1980.

A U.N.-sponsored cease-fire halted the war in August 1988, but subsequent peace talks have deadlocked.

President Saddam Hussein has sent special envoys to all Arab leaders inviting them to attend the celebrations, but there is no word yet on who the guests will be.

Anwar Saeed al-Hadithi, governor of Basra, said the new governor of Faw, Najib Mouhamad Salman, has already assumed office along with other government officials.

Al-Hadithi said life will return to normal in Faw, which lies on the west bank of the Shatt Al-Arab waterway. The cease-fire line runs down the middle of the disputed waterway.

Faw was virtually destroyed during the war.

The government has rebuilt offices, schools, hospitals and repaved the streets.

Al-Hadithi said the government has allocated plots of land to each family that used to live in Faw to rebuild a new house, and has given them $30,000 each.

All rivers and the irrigation system in the area were cleaned so that farmers can start planting for the winter growing season.