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US Satisfied with Outcome of Iraq Conference

  • VOA News

The White House says it is "very satisfied" at the outcome of the Iraq conference in Egypt, despite there being no high-level meeting with Iran.

Spokeswoman Dana Perino said Friday that such a meeting was never on the agenda for the conference. US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said that he had spoken with an Iranian deputy foreign minister, but only for a few minutes.

At the conclusion of the two-day conference in Sharm el-Sheik, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Iran to stop arming extremists and supporting terrorism in Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also urged Iraq's neighbors to stop the flow of militants and deny them access to any financial and political help.

The conference's final communiqu said that the presence of US forces in Iraq is not open-ended and will end at the request of the Iraqi government. It stopped short of setting a timeline as demanded by some of Iraq's neighbors.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki blamed Iraq's predicament on the United States, saying the occupation of Iraq has only worsened the situation.

He told reporters Iran has consistently been part of the solution and has always supported calm and peace in the region. He said the polices of the occupation forces have failed and must be corrected.

Rice spoke for about a half-hour Thursday with her Syrian counterpart on the sidelines of the conference. It was the first high-level contact between their two countries in more than two years.

The United States says it wants to see Iran and Syria increase control over their borders and stop supporting militias and insurgents in Iraq.

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