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Iraqi FM calls for Iran-US talks on Iraq security

Baghdad, Oct 31, IRNA - Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Wednesday called on Iran to hold talks with US on Iraq security.

He said in a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki that Iran-US talks on Iraq security would be useful to help restore security in Iraq and he asked Iran to accept the US request to hold fresh round of talks on Iraq.

Mottaki said that Iran expects the Iraqi government to secure release of Iranian diplomats taken captives in Iraq for over two months and that Iran would consider Iraqi government's offer over Iran-US talks.

Earlier in the day, the two foreign ministers conferred on bilateral economic ties and the upcoming Istanbul Conference on Iraq's security.

Mottaki expressed hope that Istanbul Conference will focus on the issue of enhancing security in Iraq.

"We also held talks on mutual relations and found that Iran-Iraq trade rose up in 2007 compared to the same period last year", he noted.

Tehran-Baghdad trade exceeds dlrs 2.2 billion.

Zebari, on his part, said that the two countries call for Istanbul International Conference on Iraqi Security to focus on Iraqi problems and not be overshadowed by the current problem between Turkey and Iraq over Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) cross-border terrorist operations.

Mottaki delays Lebanon visit

Beirut, Oct 31, IRNA - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delayed his visit to Lebanon for mediation efforts between Iraq and Turkey, Iran Ambassador to Beirut Mohammad Reza Sheibani said on Wednesday.

"Mr. Mottaki is involved in mediation efforts between Iraq and Turkey over terrorist operations of Turkish Workers Party (PKK) and he delayed his visit to Lebanon," Sheibani told IRNA.

Turkey has protested to the occupying forces and Iraq over allowing the PKK to launch cross-border terrorist operations against Turkey and said it would unleash military attack against northern Iraq where PKK has stationed.

Iraq sent a top-ranking delegation to Turkey calling for self-restraint and give a chance to diplomacy.

Turkish army has surrounded about 100 PKK terrorist on Monday and dispatched Cobra copters to the area to hunt down the terrorists.

Sheibani said that Mottaki would pay a visit to Lebanon as soon as possible.

... Payvand News - 10/31/07 ... --

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