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Embassy source: No date fixed for Iran-US talks

Baghdad, April 8, IRNA-A source in the Iranian embassy in Baghdad said on Saturday that upcoming talks between Iranian and US officials on critical developments in Iraq will not be held in the coming days.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IRNA that no precise date was needed to make preparations for the expected dialogue.

"Iran-US talks on Iraq will definitely be held at the right time and on appropriate conditions," the source stressed.

Elaborating on conditions, he referred to the need to ensure transparency in the talks, presence of a representative from the Iraqi government, an atmosphere conducive to reaching positive conclusions that would benefit the Iraqi nation and the importance of the Iraqi public being informed of the outcome of talks.

He also expressed the hope a new Iraqi government could be formed in time for the talks to be held within its aegis.

US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, at a news conference in Baghdad recently, had said that the talks would have to take place only after a new Iraqi government has been formed.

The envoy said that the delay in setting a date for the talks was intended to forestall suspicions the Iran-US talks could, by any means, influence the choice of officials in the new Iraqi government.

The Iraqi cabinet, in a meeting Thursday, discussed various aspects of the ucpoming talks such as the level at which it was to be held, composition of the Iranian and US negotiating teams well as the date.

Iran had agreed to the proposal of Iraqi leaders to hold talks with the US in line with its announced readiness to help resolve critical problems now facing the country and despite Iran-US differences.

... Payvand News - 4/8/06 ... --

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