U.S. to talk with Iran & Syria re/Iraq


Richard Moore

One must wonder what this is really about.


Original source URL:

US to attend key Iraq conference

The US is willing to attend a regional conference in Iraq next month that will 
include representatives from Iran and Syria, the White House says.

Iraq said the talks in Baghdad were aimed at seeking ways to stabilise the 
country and would be an "ice-breaker" for Western and regional powers.

The US has been under pressure to include Iran and Syria in dialogue.

Members of the Iraq Study Group, a cross-party panel which suggested such talks 
in December, welcomed the move.

Leon Panetta, a member of the panel, said the announcement was an important step
towards bringing stability to Iraq.

An anonymous senior administration official quoted in Wednesday's New York Times
said the ratcheting up of confrontational rhetoric against Iran in recent weeks 
has allowed the US to give the appearance of being in control - not to be 
talking from a position of weakness.

Security Council

The BBC's Jonathan Beale in Washington says the timing of the meeting may come 
as a surprise given the tension between the US and Iraq's neighbours.

But he says this may be a forum in which Washington will feel comfortable in 
raising its concerns and allegations that Iran is supplying Shia insurgents in 
Iraq with weapons.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said: "We hope that all governments seize
this opportunity to improve their relations with Iraq and to work for peace and 
stability in the region."

Asked about face-to-face meetings with other delegates, State Department 
spokesman Sean McCormack would not "exclude any particular interaction".

"I'm sure that there are going to be different kinds of discussions, meaning 
different groupings," he said.

The five permanent UN Security Council members and the Arab League are to be 
invited to the meeting.

The conference is likely to be at non-ministerial level.

However, Ms Rice said there could then be a second meeting in April of ministers
from those attending the first plus others in the G8 grouping.

The administration of President George W Bush has been under pressure in 
Congress and from the findings of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to include 
Syria and Iran in dialogue to stabilise Iraq.

Mr Rice said: "Success in Iraq requires the positive support of Iraq's 
neighbours. This is also one of the key findings of the Iraq Study Group."

Earlier, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said: "We want Iraq, instead of 
being a divisive issue, to be a unifying issue."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/02/28 05:05:34 GMT


Escaping the Matrix website        http://escapingthematrix.org/
cyberjournal website               http://cyberjournal.org
Community Democracy Framework: http://cyberjournal.org/DemocracyFramework.html
subscribe cyberjournal list        mailto:•••@••.•••
Posting archives                   http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/