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Official: U.S., Iran to hold talks over Iraq next week
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10:12, February 10, 2008

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The United States and Iran will hold a new round of talks over the Iraqi issue in Baghdad next week, an Iraqi Foreign Ministry official said on Saturday.

"We are working on a new round of talks between the two sides and we expect that the meeting would be held next week," the official said on condition of anonymity, without providing a specific date.

He added that the level of the meeting has not yet been decided.

The comment from the U.S. embassy was not immediately available.

The U.S. 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 are 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.Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Jan. 28 that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to make a tour to Iraq within two months.

  Source: Xinhua



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