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Iran Factor
Historic US-Iran Talks Underway in Baghdad
Iraq's Prime Minister Among Those At Opening of Iraq-Focused Discussions
05/28/2007 07:48 AM ET
Photo from Iraqi Prime Minister's office/Getty Images

By Adel Fakher
Baghdad, May 28, (VOI) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki expressed optimism that the U.S.-Iranian talks, which started earlier on Monday on security in Iraq, would help bring about positive outcomes for the war-troubled country.

"I welcome you all to Baghdad, which is witnessing the first meeting between representatives from the U.S. and Iranian governments to discuss the Iraqi affair," Maliki said in an inaugural speech. The Iraqi premier hoped "the meeting would act as a significant step towards security and stability in Iraq and the region."

"U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker led his country's delegation, while the Iranians were led by ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qomi," a source close to the Iraqi government told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) on condition of anonymity.

He said a high-level delegation from the Iraqi government and diplomats from Iraq's foreign ministry would attend the talks.

The source declined to name the place where the meeting will be held, noting that it will be inside Baghdad's heavily fortified green zone.

"The U.S. ambassador will hold a press conference at the green zone's joint information center at 02:30 p.m. (Baghdad local time) to give a briefing on the talks," the source said.


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