Saddam Hussein's former number two, the fugitive Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, appealed to Arab states to talk to "resistance" groups he said were Iraqis' sole representatives, in an audiotape aired Sunday.
DUBAI- "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 message broadcast on Al-Jazeera television.
He asked Arab leaders meeting at their summit in Libya to "recognise resistance groups, armed and unarmed, break their diplomatic relations with the occupying authority in Iraq and annul all obligations resulting from those relations."
Ibrahim, a Baathist who was second only to Saddam in the decision-making Revolutionary Command Council, is the most wanted of the now-executed dictator's henchmen still at large.
He has a 10-million-dollar US bounty on his head and is thought to be hiding in Iraq or Syria.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari had threatened on Thursday to quit the weekend summit in Sirte, Libya, and the Arab League, in protest after the Libyan leader Muammar Kadhafi received members of the Iraqi opposition.
Libya's official JANA news agency said Kadhafi had received a high-ranking delegation of Iraqi opposition leaders days before the summit.
Among the delegation were former members of Iraq's outlawed Baath party.
The United States has repeatedly accused Ibrahim of being the paymaster behind many of the attacks on their troops, using Saddam's hidden stashes of hard currency to buy jobless Iraqis to serve as footsoldiers in the insurgency.
Similarly, the Iraqi government has also accused him of masterminding attacks against the ministries in Baghdad in 2009.
Thousands of US troops have taken part in the search for the fugitive leader, who was widely feared as one of the hard men of the old regime.