updated 8/21/2005 7:45:00 PM ET 2005-08-21T23:45:00

Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has said in a letter he would sacrifice himself for Arab nationalism and to end foreign occupation.

The International Committee of the Red Cross delivered the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, on Sunday to a Jordanian friend of Saddam who declined to be named.

“I sacrifice my soul and very existence to the Arab cause and liberation of our homeland from foreign liberation,” the former Iraqi leader said in the undated letter that was heavily censored by the U.S. military which holds him on behalf of the Iraqi government.

Saddam’s family, who have had no access to him since his arrest in late 2003, have complained all his letters reach them with big chunks deleted and censored.

“Life is meaningless without the considerations of faith, love and inherited history in our nation,” Saddam said.

Relatives say Saddam’s lawyer tells them he spends much of his time reading the Koran and has become a devout Muslim in captivity.

My brother, love your people’
For many Arabs Saddam is revered as a symbol of Arab pride and resistance to the United States.

“My brother, love your people, love Palestine, love your nation, long live Palestine,” Saddam wrote.

He has long praised Palestinian militants waging suicide attacks against Israeli targets.

The U.S.-led invasion ended Saddam’s secular Baath party rule in 2003.

Iraqi officials say the trial of Saddam, who is being investigated on possible charges of crimes against humanity and genocide, would begin within six weeks — a time frame in line with recent indications from the tribunal.

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