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Iran's Foreign Minister to Attend Sharma El Sheikh Conference

Source: Radio Farda Newsroom

Iran confirmed Monday that it is sending its Foreign Minister to the conference on Iraq in Sharma El Sheikh in Egypt. Iran's Foreign office spokesman, Hamid-Reza Asefi called the conference an important forum for Iran and said the US Secretary of State Colin Powell will be directly briefed on Islamic Republics views on Iraq as well as the region as a whole.

The conference on 22 and 23rd November will discuss issues related to Iraq such as security, Iraq's relations with its neighbours, exit strategy for foreign forces, reconstruction of the country and the future government.

This is not the first time that Iran and US meet in such conferences said Asefi. High ranking officials met before in similar conferences on Afghanistan he said.

Although, direct negotiation between Iran and US is not on the agenda according to Asefi, the US Secretary of State will directly hear Iran's views on Iraq and a range of other issues he confirmed.

Despite Colin Powell's resignation Monday, he will most likely take part in the conference. Last week he called the Sharma El Sheikh conference a suitable venue to discuss Iran's nuclear activities. The IAEA's board of governor's, meeting in Vienna, will review Iran's nuclear case shortly after the conference in Egypt.

Iran's Interior Ministry will be hosting a conference in Tehran in November where Iraq's neighbouring country's interior ministers from Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria and Egypt are invited. The conference aims to seek ways of helping Iraqis to improve their living condition.

Iraq's Prime Minster is also expected to visit Iran in the near future but no date has been set yet. It is said that Iraq's interim PM intends to ask Iran to write off its claim over Iran Iraq's war reparations. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said it is not for Iran's government to write off this debt. "It is the people's money and is indispensable."

... Payvand News - 11/17/04 ... --

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