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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran studying its presence in Baghdad meeting: FM

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, March 5, IRNA
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said here on Monday that Iran was still considering the matter of whether it will send it deputy foreign minister to attend the upcoming security meeting in Baghdad scheduled for March 11.

Mottaki was addressing reporters in a joint press conference with Chad's Foreign Minister Ahmat Allam-Mi.

He said the idea of holding a meeting of foreign ministers of Iraqi neighboring states in Baghdad was first offered to Iran and Syria.

"Certain countries proposed holding of the meeting at the level of deputy foreign ministers. Iran agreed with the offer," he added.

Pointing to the proposal of some states to have representatives of permanent members of the UN Security Council in the meeting, Mottaki said he was consulted on this matter by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari.

"In our talks with the Iraqi side in the past 10 days we raised certain points regarding the proposal," he said.

Mottaki, elaborating on the proposal of including the five permanent members of the Security Council in the meeting, he said that "the goal of participants in the meeting should be to provide assistance to the Iraqi government and any decision made should be be made by officials inside and not outside the country."

He also stressed that the framework and structures which had been established through the efforts of Iraq's neighboring states should be respected.

"We told the Iraqi side that if countries outside the region are to attend meetings of Iraq's neighboring states, the framework created through the efforts of these states should be observed," Mottaki added.

He said that if such concerns are addressed, Iran would not oppose the idea of having representatives of permanent members of the Security Council in the Baghdad meeting.

He said that another proposal has also been made, that is, that a session of foreign ministers of Iraqi neighboring states and representatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council be held after the March 10 meeting of deputy foreign ministers, and added that Iran does no oppose the proposal in principle.

Asked where the proposed second meeting would probably be held, Mottaki said Iran prefers that it be held in Baghdad but that there are those who prefer to hold it in Istanbul or other cities.


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