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Diplomatic Buzz
Rice Could Meet Iranian Reps Next Month
State Dept Won't "Rule Out" Possibility of Meeting at Iraq Conference in Egypt
04/20/2007 5:18 PM ET
JERUSALEM, -: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attends a press conference, 27 March 2007, in Jerusalem. Rice, wrapping up her Middle East peace mission.
Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty
JERUSALEM, -: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attends a press conference, 27 March 2007, in Jerusalem. Rice, wrapping up her Middle East peace mission.

Condolleezza Rice could possibly meet with Iranian representatives at a meeting of Iraq's neighbors and other major powers next month in Egypt.

State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said in Friday's press briefing, "I'm not going to rule out any particular diplomatic interaction. I'm not going to point you in the direction of any particular meeting with the Iranians or the Syrians."

Iran has not yet confirmed whether or not it will send representatives to the meeting, but the brief conversation between Zalmay Khalilzad and Abbas Aragachi, deputy foreign minister of Iran, at the peace conference in Baghdad last month has raised expectations for another "casual" diplomatic exchange.

"She, obviously, as secretary, has latitude to choose targets of opportunity if she feels there's something that presents itself," McCormack said.

Though this possibility offers the most anticipated sideshow of the meeting, the State Department's offocial purpose in attending the meeting will be to "discuss ways to support Iraq in its economic reform efforts and move forward with the stabilization of Iraq and transition to full Iraqi self-reliance."

The meeting is scheduled for May 1-4 in the Egyptian Sea Resort of Sharm al-Sheikh.

Also on Friday, Ahmadinejad publicly invited any representative of a world power for an all-expenses-paid trip to Iran.

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