Abu Dhabi, May 14, IRNA - Visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in Abu Dhabi on Monday Iran and the United States would hold talks on Iraq security.
President Ahmadinejad made the remark while speaking to reporters at a press conference.
"The US has called for holding talks with Iran to settle security problems in Iraq. We have announced our readiness for talks to help the Iraqi government and nation," he said.
He added, "But the exact date and venue of talks have not been determined yet. Both sides prefer talks to be held in Iraq in presence of the Iraqi government."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Sunday Iran has agreed to hold talks with the US on Iraq.
"Following consultations between Iranian and Iraqi officials, Tehran has agreed to hold negotiations with Washington to relieve pains and sufferings of the Iraqi people, support and strengthen the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and stabilize security and peace in that country," he said.
Pointing to the US accusations against Iran on Iraq, Ahmadinejad said, "Iran and Iraq have very friendly ties. Those who came to the region from thousands of kilometers away cause trouble.
"They are used to looking for an external factor instead of accepting their mistakes whenever they fail."
The occupiers' plans in Iraq have totally failed, the president said, adding, "The solution (to the Iraqi crisis) is based on respect for rights and dignity of the Iraqi people and end the country's occupation."
Regional states capable of reinforcing security - Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad said that regional countries are able to reinforce their security.
Addressing reporters at the press conference, Ahmadinejad said his current visit indicates importance the Islamic Republic of Iran attaches to security cooperation among regional states.
"There is no need for presence of foreign forces in the region to help reinforce regional security," he said.
He added, "Regional nations, themselves, can establish security, peace and tranquility in the entire region in the best possible manner."
Asked about the US Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remark on Iran, the Iranian president said, "Cheney's statement had no new point for us." They were repeated words that were more useless than before, he added.
On US possible military attack on Iran, Ahmadinejad said, "Enemies are too weak to take such measures. If they make such a mistake, Iran will give a crushing response."
He said that US Ambassador to Iraq Chester Crocker will represent the United States.
The White House spokesman first announced direct talks on Iraq from Air Force One en route to Virginia with President George W. Bush.
"You could expect a meeting in the next few weeks with Ambassador Crocker and Iranians," Johndroe said.
"The purpose is to try to make sure that the Iranians play a productive role in Iraq."
Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari welcomed the talks by saying, " This is a positive sign the US is a major player and so is Iran, and there will be a room for some substantial discussions for the stability of Iraq."
The US formal call for talks with Iran on Iraq has been presented to Iranian officials through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said Sunday.
Hosseini made the remark in response to IRNA at his weekly press conference.
Iran has expressed its readiness to hold talks with the US on Iraq.
"Following consultations between Iranian and Iraqi officials, Tehran has agreed to hold negotiations with Washington to help relieve pains and sufferings of the Iraqi people, support the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and stabilize security and peace in that country," Hosseini said.
Hosseini added, "Date of the meeting and level of the negotiating team will be determined by end of the current week."
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