BAGHDAD â€” The Iraqi government Thursday invited Iran and Syria to Baghdad for talks next month on regional security, amid growing tension and accusations by the Bush administration of foreign meddling in Iraqi affairs.
Iraqi officials have not invited the United States to the meeting, which also could include Iraq’s other neighbors, the United Nations and the Arab League. The meeting is intended to “promote support for the government of Iraq on security and other issues,” said Samir Shakir Mahmoud Sumaidy, the Iraqi ambassador to the United States.
Sumaidy, speaking in Washington, said the summit was part of a series of regional gatherings sponsored by Iraq’s fledgling government that have not included nations from outside the region. It is tentatively scheduled to start March 10.
The meeting comes at a time when U.S. officials have accused Iran of meddling in Iraq. The Bush administration also has complained that Syria is allowing foreign fighters to cross into Iraq, and it is urging Sunni Arab neighbors to help stabilize the country by applying pressure on their Sunni Muslim allies in Iraq.