Baghdad Pleased with Iran-US Talks

A018502110.jpgBaghdad’s ambassador to Tehran welcomed the upcoming meeting between Iran and the US over his country, and stressed that Tehran-Washington talks in Baghdad on May 28 would serve the interests of the Iraqi nation.Speaking to FNA here in Tehran on Thursday, Mohammad Majid al-Sheikh further pointed to the efforts made by the Iraqi government at different levels to arrange the talks, and reminded that such political figures as Seyed Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the largest fraction at the Iraqi parliament, and governmental officials, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, First Vice President Adil Abd Al-Mahdi, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, and others, have always stressed the need for the holding of such a meeting between Iran and the US.

“Baghdad welcomes the meeting between Iran and the Untied States as their talks would serve the interests of the Iraqi nation,” he said.

Earlier today, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that his country and the US are to hold ambassadorial level talks on Iraq.

“Negotiations are restricted to Iraq, in Iraq, and will start in the presence of Iraqi officials on May 28,” Manouchehr Mottaki told a news conference in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, where he has been attending a ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Mottaki also said that Iran would dispatch “one of its senior diplomats, at the level of ambassador, as its chief negotiator”.

Meantime, reports also said that the US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, is to lead the American side.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohmmad Ali Hosseini on Sunday said Tehran has extended a positive response to a request by the Iraqi government for attending talks with the US over Iraq issue.

Hosseini said that Iran will attend direct talks with Americans in Iraq in a bid to soothe the pains, sufferings and agonies of the Iraqi nation, strengthen and support Nuri al-Maliki’s legal administration and establish and reinvigorate peace and security in that country.

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