Cheney's spokeswoman says U.S. willing to talk to Iran over Iraqi issue

Lea Anne McBride, spokeswoman for U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, said on Sunday that the U.S. was willing to hold talks with Iran over the Iraqi issue.

McBride, who accompanied Cheney on a brief visit to Egypt, told reporters after arriving in the Egyptian capital Cairo that the United States has "willingness to have that conversation limited to Iraq issues, at the ambassador level."

She stressed that the U.S. willingness to hold talks with Iran over the Iraq issue was not a new stance.

McBride's comment came several hours after Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said Iran had agreed to hold talks with the United States on Iraq.

"Following consultations between Iranian and Iraqi officials, Tehran has agreed to hold negotiations with Washington," Hosseini was quoted by Iran's official IRNA news agency as saying at his weekly press conference.

The talks aim to "relieve pains and suffering of the Iraqi people, support and strengthen the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and stabilize security and peace in that country," Hosseini said.

The spokesman said that "Date of the meeting and level of the negotiating team will be determined by the end of the current week, " adding the talks will be held in Iraq.

Source: Xinhua

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