Mottaki: Iran Will Attend Iraq Meeting
07 March 2007
Iran says it will attend the international conference on Iraq, which is to be held in Baghdad on Saturday.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference in Tehran Wednesday that the deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, Abbas Araghchi, will lead an Iranian delegation at the meeting.
Earlier, Iran indicated it was in favor of participating but had some reservations.
The Baghdad conference is expected to focus on ways to stabilize Iraq. It is to include Iraq's neighbors and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.
It is not clear if the U.S. will hold direct talks with Iran and Syria at the conference -- the two countries Washington accuses of meddling in Iraq.
The White House has said there will be no direct talks with Iran and Syria.
But, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmy Khalilzad, who is to represent the United States at the meeting, said last week he might hold bilateral talks, focusing solely on allegations of supplies of Iranian-made arms to insurgents in Iraq.
Washington also accuses Syria of allowing foreign fighters to cross its border into Iraq.
A second conference on Iraq at the ministerial level is to be held in early April. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said she will attend that meeting.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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