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IraqSide:Buzz
Diplomatic Buzz
Iran and US Have Rare Exchange in Baghdad
Peace Conference Setting Leads to 'Constructive' Conversation
03/10/2007 3:54 PM ET
Iran's deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs Abbas Araghshi addresses the media at the end of the Baghdad peace conference 10 March 2007.
Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty
Iran's deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs Abbas Araghshi addresses the media at the end of the Baghdad peace conference 10 March 2007.

Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to Iraq, and Abbas Aragachi, deputy foreign minister of Iran, had a brief but reportedly constructive exchange of words Saturday at the international peace talks in Baghdad.

Khalilzad "declined to give details of the contacts — calling them only 'constructive and businesslike and problem-solving' — but noted that he raised U.S. assertions that Shiite militias receive weapons and assistance across the border from Iran," acording to the AP.

Aragachi reportedly reiterated Iranian demands for a scheduled date of withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq, which he insists makes the country a magnet for Islamic extremists.

"Violence in Iraq is good for no country in the region," said Araghchi, deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, at a post-meeting news conference.

Araghchi said he did not meet privately with Khalilzad, but that all dialogue "was within the framework of the meeting" — which he said had "very good interaction by all the delegations."

Khalilzad, too, called it a "first step."

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