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Iranian FM: US turns to multilateralism to save face in Iraq

Brussels, June 23, IRNA-Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said the United States wants the international community now to save it from its entanglement in Iraq.

"The Americans after being tied up in Iraq and after the differences with Europe understood that they cannot proceed in this way." "They have now decided that others should help them. So now they are coming to multilateralism. They want the international community to help Iraq," Kharrazi told IRNA in an interview in Brussels.

Kharrazi was among the 80 ministers and dignitaries who participated in the one-day international conference on Iraq co-hosted by the EU and US in Brussels on Wednesday.

He called on the international community to assist and help Iraq so that Iraq can maintain security with its own forces inside the country and pave the way for the early withdrawal of foreign forces.

He said the main aim of the conference was to show political support to the new transitional government in Iraq.

A big high-level Iraqi delegation led by prime minister Ibrahim Ja'afari took part in the major event.

Kharrazi held several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference. He met UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, EU High Representative Javier Solana, Foreign Ministers of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn, whose country holds the current EU Presidency, of Turkey Abdullah Gul, of Syria Farouq al-Shara and of France Philippe Douste-Blazy.

He also held talks with EU Commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Commissioner for justice, freedom and security, Franco Frattini.

"We discussed regional developments and bilateral issues, elections in Iran, Iran's nuclear program, Iraq, and Lebanon," he told IRNA.

The large voter turnout in the first round of Presidential elections in Iran last Friday drew great international interest and all countries are now waiting with interest to see who would be lected in the runoff on Friday, noted Kharrazi.

"They are interested in boosting cooperation with Iran on the issue of Iraq," he said.

With the new French foreign minister he discussed EU-Iran nuclear talks and Tehran-Paris ties.

"France gives special importance to ties with the Islamic Republic. We also think the same and there are many common interests between the two countries." He said Iran is expecting from the EU side to present its proposal on Iran's nuclear program in two months.

"We hope that their proposal would be a successful one to resolve the problem," Kharrazi said stressing that Iran cannot give up its legitimate right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Meanwhile, Kharrazi Thursday met EU Commissioner for humanitarian aid, Louis Michel, and later is expected to hold talks with Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht.

... Payvand News - 6/23/05 ... --

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