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Spanish PM invites Iran to take part in Iraq's reconstruction conference


Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on Wednesday officially invited Iran to participate in 'Iraq's Reconstruction Conference,' IRNA reported from Madrid, Spain.

Iran's Ambassador to Madrid, Morteza Alviri, told IRNA that Aznar invited Iran to attend the upcoming conference through a letter addressed to President Mohammad Khatami.

Iraq's Reconstruction Conference will be held in the Spanish capital city of Madrid from October 23-24.

Alviri added that the Spanish government has invited 60 states and 15 international bodies to participate the upcoming seminar. The Iranian diplomat noted that the trend of the conference to be held on the reconstruction of Iraq is currently being examined and that Iran has not so far made any decision on its participation in the event.

"The Spanish officials predict that the countries wishing to be represented in the Madrid meeting, will send their foreign or finance ministers," he added.

In a preliminary meeting held in Madrid last week, participants declared unanimously that an investment of dlrs 35.589 billion will be required for reconstruction of Iraq in the coming four years. Experts believe that once the current expenses are added to the estimated figure, the required credit will boost to dlrs 55 billion.

The Spanish government has reiterated that there is no way to raise the specified fund at the upcoming Madrid international fund. The Spanish Foreign Minister Anna Palacio called on the news media to avoid making reference to the financial resources supplying tens of billions of dollars at the upcoming conference.

Asefi says Iran's participation in Madrid conference under study

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said in Tehran on Wednesday Iran is studying its participation in a Madrid conference on reconstruction of Iraq on October 23-24.

Talking to IRNA on Iran's presence in the conference on Iraq's reconstruction in Madrid, Asefi said that the conference is to be held on the initiative of Spain.

"The Office of the Spanish prime minister has invited 80 countries and 20 international organizations to attend the conference," the spokesman said.

Iran will later announce how it is going to participate in the meeting.

Twenty-five ministers from various countries have already announced their readiness to attend the Madrid conference.

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