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Rice To Meet Syrians

Thu May 03, 2007 10:37 pm

Didn't see anything posted, but you know how the search feature can be....

Fair use below:
SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt (AP) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet Syria's foreign minister in the first high-level talks between the countries in years, a U.S. official said Thursday, and the chief American military spokesman in Iraq said Syria had moved to reduce ''the flow of foreign fighters'' across its border.

But a substantive meeting between the United States and Iran -- another U.S. opponent in the Mideast -- appeared less certain. The Iraqi government is pressing for Rice and her Iranian counterpart to meet during the gathering, saying Washington's conflict with the government in Tehran is only fueling Iraq's instability.

Rice has also said she was willing to meet Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, after years of accusations and name-calling between the nations. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had also expressed interest in such a meeting.

''All of us here today are bound to the future of Iraq. What happens in Iraq has profound consequences which will affect each and every one of us,'' Rice said in a speech to the conference.

Al-Maliki told Rice on Wednesday that ''a rapprochement must take place between you and the nations of the region to solve the issue of Iraq, particularly Syria and Iran,'' according to Iraqi Planning Minister Ali Baban, a Sunni.

The U.S accuses Iran of fueling Iraq's violence by arming and backing militants there, a charge Iran denies.

The two-day conference in this Red Sea resort town brings together officials from Iraq, the U.S., Iran, Russia, China, Europe and Arab nations.

A step in the right direction, but I'm not sure how successful this meeting, and the larger summit, will be.

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