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Kharrazi briefs European counterparts, Solana on Iraqi FM's visit

Tehran, Feb 12, IRNA -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Tuesday briefed over phone his British and French counterparts, Jack Straw and Dominique de Villepin, as well as EU foreign policy and security chief, Javier Solana, on the results of Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri's Sunday visit to the Islamic Republic.

Kharrazi said Tehran stressed in the talks with Sabri the need for Baghdad to cooperate with UN arms inspectors in order prevent a probable military showdown in the region.

The Iraqi foreign minister announced his country's readiness to fully cooperate with the arms inspectors, he added.

The European sides stressed that the key was in Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's hands to prevent the war and that the criteria for Iraqi cooperation with the arms inspectors was an expected UN report.

Sabri arrived in Tehran for a 24-hour visit and talks with Iranian officials, including Kharrazi who made clear that Iraq's full compliance with the UN Security Council resolutions was the only remaining alternative to resolve the standoff.

The visit came hot on the heels of Iranian foreign minister's trip to Britain and EU Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten's visit to the Islamic Republic.

Sabri submitted Saddam Hussein's message for Iranian President Mohammad Khatami. The contents of the message were not disclosed.

Iran, which opposes any military attack on Iraq, has turned to a key diplomatic center in the wake of the ongoing standoff between Baghdad and Washington.

... Payvand News - 2/12/03 ... --

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