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Iraq Minister Wants To Host Meeting Of Neighboring Nations’ Ministers January 23, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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ROME (AP)–Iraq’s foreign minister plans to host a meeting in Baghdad of neighboring countries’ foreign ministers, he said Tuesday, stressing it could help change how these countries view the strife-torn country.

The meeting would mark “an important turning point in these countries’ vision of the situation in Iraq,” Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said following talks with his Italian counterpart. He didn’t say when the meeting would happen or which countries would participate.

U.S. officials say two of Iraq’s neighbors, Iran and Syria, are supporting the insurgency, and U.S. forces have twice detained Iranians in Iraq. Iraq, however, has recently been making overtures to its two large neighbors.

Italian Premier Romano Prodi has said that both Iran and Syria should be involved in talks if the region is to be stabilized. Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema reiterated in a joint news conference with Zebari that “Iraq’s stability can be achieved through an active participation by countries in the region to avoid Iraq being seen…as a battlefield.”

Zebari was in Rome to sign a cooperation treaty with Italy in such fields as education, the environment and the judiciary.

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