US and Iranian officials will meet in Baghdad later this month to discuss issues involving Iraq, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Thursday. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters that the date would be May 28. Both officials were speaking from Islamabad, Pakistan, where an Islamic conference of foreign ministers was being held.
According to Zebari, the discussions will be a part of three-party talks, involving the United States, Iran and Iraq.
Earlier this week, White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters the talks would not result in a normalization of relations between the two countries, which have been cut since 1979.
“Following consultations between Iranian and Iraqi officials, Tehran has agreed to hold negotiations with Washington to relieve pains and suffering of the Iraqi people, support and strengthen the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and stabilize security and peace in that country,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini said earlier this week.
Iranian and US diplomats had “brief encounters” earlier this month in Egypt at a two-day conference on Iraq, said Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.