PARIS, NOV. 12 -- The European Community, seeking to halt the parade of self-appointed emissaries to Iraq imploring President Saddam Hussein to free their countrymen, appealed for help today from Moslem and nonaligned nations to persuade the Iraqi leader to accept U.N. mediation of the hostage issue.
Foreign ministers from the 12 EC states met in Brussels with their counterparts from five North African countries and urged them, according to Germany's Hans-Dietrich Genscher, to "use their good relations with Iraq for the cause of humanity."
The European ministers renewed pledges made by their leaders at a summit meeting in Rome last month not to negotiate over the fate of thousands of foreigners being prevented from leaving Iraq. They also vowed to discourage individual missions to Baghdad, a plea ignored by elder statesmen such as Willy Brandt of Germany and Yasuhiro Nakasone of Japan, who visited Saddam and gained the release of some of their fellow citizens.
Brandt's trip, which gained him a hero's welcome when the former chancellor and Social Democratic leader returned home with 120 hostages, provoked sharp criticism from allied capitals because it was blessed, although reluctantly, by the German government only a short time after Chancellor Helmut Kohl endorsed the Rome pledge.
Kohl reportedly refrained from any objection to Brandt's trip because he did not want to see it become an election campaign issue just before the first all-German vote, set for Dec. 2.
The EC ministers agreed today to exert strong diplomatic pressure on Baghdad to receive Sadruddin Aga Khan, a special envoy appointed by U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar to seek freedom for all foreigners held in Iraq.
Besides Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia, the Europeans will seek help from other nations who belong to the Islamic Conference and the nonaligned movement in persuading Iraq to accept the U.N. representative.
"All of our countries are doing everything they can to work toward a peaceful settlement," said Algeria's Sid Ahmed Ghozali, who headed the North African delegation. "As we see it, the triggering of a war would inevitably lead to ecological and political disaster, which would first and foremost affect Arab countries."
Until now, Iraq has barred a U.N. role in the hostage issue because of Security Council resolutions demanding, among other things, the complete and unconditional withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait and the release of all foreign hostages.
Recently, Saddam offered to free all foreign hostages if the Soviet Union and France adopted nonaggression pacts with Iraq. A senior French official confirmed the offer was discussed by Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and Francois Mitterrand at their talks two weeks ago, when Iraq allowed all French hostages to go home. But the official said it was quickly rejected by both leaders because neither could be sure that future circumstances would not require participation in armed conflict.
While the United States and Britain have stepped up threats of a military offensive to oust Iraq from Kuwait, France and the Soviet Union have sought to encourage an Arab diplomatic solution. French officials said an Arab peace initiative, even though it has gone nowhere over the last three months, is the only avenue that could provide Saddam a face-saving exit from Kuwait.
The European ministers welcomed a call by Moroccan King Hassan II on Sunday for an Arab summit conference, which he described as a "last chance" to achieve a peaceful resolution.