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U.S., Iran to hold talks over Iraq at expert level
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09:16, February 14, 2008

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Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday that the fourth round of Iran-U.S. talks on Iraq would be held at expert level, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"The date of the talks would be announced soon," Mottaki was quoted as telling reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session.

The Iranian foreign minister also said that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would definitely visit Iraq, adding that preparations have been made for the visit.

Noting that the visit would have been positive effects on Tehran-Baghdad relations, Mottaki said that the visit will help promote Iran-Iraq economic and cultural cooperation.

The United States has been accusing Iran of aiding Iraq's Shiite insurgents. But Tehran categorically rejects the allegation.

U.S. officials said recently that attacks involving weapons from Iran seemed to be decreasing, but the training and financial supports were still there.

The two sides held two ambassador-level talks on the Iraqi security issue in May and July and an expert-level meeting in August. A fourth round scheduled for December has been suspended.

Iran has a strong influence among the Iraqi Shiites. Relations of the two countries, which fought an eight-year war in 1980s, have picked up since the fall of Iraq's former President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Iraqi leaders have paid several visits to Iran since 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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