Iraqi former dictator Saddam Hussein's number two, fugitive Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, has urged Arab states to talk to what he called the Iraqi "resistance" instead of the government.

"The Iraqi people request that your summit adopts a historic and courageous position by inviting resistance leaders to represent Iraq and its people in the summit and in the Arab League," Ibrahim said in the purported audiotape aired on Al-Jazeera television Sunday.

He asked Arab leaders meeting at their summit in Libya to "recognize resistance groups, armed and unarmed, break their diplomatic relations with the occupying authority in Iraq and annul all obligations resulting from those relations," AFP reported.

Ibrahim is the most wanted of the now-executed dictator's henchmen still at large.

The Baathist was second only to Saddam in the decision-making Revolutionary Command Council.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the country's Foreign Minister to quit an Arab League ministerial meeting held in Libya.

Hoshyar Zebari quit the meeting in protest to a meeting granted by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to ex-members of Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party and some opposition figures including former oil minister Issam Shalabi.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh condemned the meeting on Wednesday, describing it as "undiplomatic" and an "insult" to the people of Iraq.



Saddam's No 2 urges Arab support for Iraq militants