Monday, March 12, 2007

Iran, U.S. blame each other for Iraq's conflict

Sun. 11 Mar 2007

(Bloomberg) -- Delegates from Iran and the U.S. blamed each other for the conflict in Iraq at a conference in Baghdad aimed at forging international cooperation on steps to end the killings and attacks in the country.

The one-day meeting, which included representatives of 14 governments and three multinational organizations, provided an unusual opportunity for the U.S. to discuss Iraqi violence directly with two Middle East adversaries: Syria and Iran.

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said that Iraq's neighbors must "halt the flow of fighters, weapons and other lethal support to militias and other armed groups." Asked by reporters yesterday if he had addressed these issues with the Iranians, the U.S. ambassador said, "I did raise these concerns."

Iran's Abbas Araqchi, a deputy foreign minister, said at a news conference that followed Khalilzad's yesterday that U.S. accusations that Iran was supporting Shiite Muslim militias in Iraq are "false" and the presence of U.S. troops and those of other nations is fueling the violence. More....

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