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Iraq Welcomes Iran's Participation in International Conference

  • VOA News

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has thanked Iran for agreeing to participate in a major international conference on Iraq, beginning later this week in Egypt.

Mr. Maliki expressed his gratitude to Iran in a statement issued by his office after he met Sunday in Baghdad with Tehran's top national-security official, Ali Larijani.

The statement quotes Larijani as saying countries that want security and stability in the region must support Iraq's elected government.

Iran says it s is sending its foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, to the two-day conference opening Thursday in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she would not rule out a meeting with Mottaki on the sidelines of the multi-national conference.

Rice says the conference is not a meeting about the United States and Iran, but about what Iraq's neighbors and other interested parties can do to help stabilize the situation in the country.

The United States has accused Iran of aiding and training extremist groups in Iraq, a charge Tehran denies.
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