AMMAN, JORDAN, DEC. 1 -- The Iraqi government today accepted an offer by President Bush for talks on the Persian Gulf crisis but, in a sternly worded statement following a day of deliberations, said it would continue to link its annexation of Kuwait with Israel's occupation of Arab lands.

Iraq's response to Bush's surprise initiative referred to him as "the enemy of God," saying that "the arrogant President of the United States George Bush had consistently opposed dialogue, expressing his hatred of Arabs and Moslems and all those who believe in God and the world's human values."

Despite its harsh rhetoric, the Iraqi leadership promised to work toward dialogue. In a communique, the ruling Revolutionary Command Council said "Iraq will endeavor to follow up and broaden any window for dialogue rather than the language of threats."

While Iraqi officials and private citizens reached in Baghdad on Friday spoke of widespread relief and euphoria at Washington's overture, news of it was suppressed in Baghdad's newspapers today and not mentioned on state-run radio and television until the official reply was aired. The reply coincided with demonstrations in the streets of Baghdad denouncing Thursday's U.N. Security Council vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq unless it pulls its troops out of Kuwait by Jan. 15.

Friday, Bush invited Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz to meet him in Washington during the week of Dec. 10 and proposed a subsequent visit by Secretary of State James A. Baker III to Baghdad for talks with President Saddam Hussein.

"In line with our morals and principles God has asked us to be committed to, we accept the idea of the invitation and the meeting," Iraq's ruling council said today. "When we officially receive the invitation, those concerned in Iraq and their counterparts in the United States will agree on the dates of the exchanged visits and the practical arrangements," the council said.

A White House spokesman said the administration would await "an official communication" from Iraq before responding to Baghdad's stance on the talks. Joseph Wilson, the U.S. charge d'affaires in the Iraqi capital, had received no official response today when he formally presented the U.S. invitation, White House and State Department officials said.

An Iraqi television announcer who effectively serves as a presidential spokesman read Iraq's reply at the start of the evening news. "Our endeavor will always be, as it always has been, to conduct a profoundly serious dialogue and not pro forma meetings, {which} the American president wants . . . as a pretext before American and world public opinion . . . to achieve the objectives which he had planned in the first place," the text said.

In calling for talks Friday, Bush stressed that there would be no concessions to Saddam and that he was "not suggesting discussions that will result in anything less than Iraq's complete withdrawal from Kuwait, restoration of Kuwait's legitimate government and freedom for all hostages" being held by Iraq.

The Iraqi ruling council reiterated its adherence to Saddam's Aug. 12 declaration, which ties any pullout from Kuwait to settlement of other Middle East conflicts, including Syria's role in Lebanon and Israel's hold on Arab lands. Western diplomats in Baghdad have stressed that this stance is the only way for Saddam to save face in a discussion of an Iraqi retreat from Kuwait.

Saddam's Aug. 12 position "will be our guide in every serious dialogue. . . . Palestine and other occupied Arab lands will be at the forefront of the issues dealt with in any dialogue," the council statement said.

White House and State Department officials today repeated the administration's rejection of any direct linkage of an Iraqi withdrawal and the resolution of the Arab-Israeli problem. In September, Bush tempered that rejection with a statement that, following an Iraqi pullout, there would be new opportunities to address other conflicts in the region, including the Arab-Israeli confrontation.

The Palestine Liberation Organization welcomed Bush's invitation for talks, calling it "a step in the right direction."

PLO spokesman Yasser Abed Rabbo was quoted as saying in Tunis that Bush's decision "could be a turning point in the history of the region and could also be the step which precedes war. That depends on how the U.S. side responds to {calls for} a comprehensive solution of all regional crises.

"We hope the agenda for dialogue will include all regional issues, including rapid holding of an international peace conference and international protection for our people under {Israeli} occupation," said Abed Rabbo, who is a member of the PLO Executive Committee.

The Egyptian government, which has committed 30,000 troops to the U.S.-led force confronting Iraq in the desert, also reacted with relief at the prospect of U.S.-Iraqi talks, saying it was the last chance to settle the crisis peacefully.

Iraqi sources in Baghdad, reached by telephone, said the U.S. proposal for talks would be interpreted there as a possibly face-saving victory for Saddam, despite Bush's rejection of any concessions to Iraq. The Iraqi leadership has refused to be seen bending to international pressure and the sources said Iraq's government would present Bush's offer of talks as the United States' having been the first to back away from its position.

"Until a week ago, as you know, President Bush had considered any negotiations with Iraq before its unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait as a kind of concession," Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Abdul Amir Anbari told Radio Jordan in an interview from New York. "In that sense, this is a positive step for Iraq," he said.

Iraq's ruling council said it had accepted the U.S. proposal "despite the fact that the Bush invitation for meetings had come after he had amassed all the brutal might he could muster on the holy lands of Arabs and Moslems, despite the unjust resolutions he issued through what he called Security Council resolutions against the people of Iraq, despite the arrogant tone which he used in his invitation."

The council said Iraq would seek clarification of a reference by Bush to the possibility of inviting ambassadors of some U.S. allies in the crisis to join him at the meeting with Aziz. It said this was "an ambiguous idea with equally vague motives."

"If the American side sees it as necessary, Iraq will invite on its part representatives from nations and parties linked to the outstanding issues in the Arab region to attend the meetings with the American administration, whether in Washington or Baghdad, after consulting the concerned parties," it added.