Tuesday, 27 February 2007

US to talk with Iran and Syria — about time!

After so many missed chances, is this finally a meeting between powers with a real interest in the Iraq situation that could do good, or will it just turn into a shouting-match, with the Americans accusing countries left and right? After the release of US potential attack plans on Iran, not to mention the rhetoric streaming from the Bush administration's mouth, it is a good sign that Iran has allowed the US to talk to them. Then again, they want to appear to be the 'good guy' in the Middle East diplomacy by offering talks with the US on Iraq as much as possible.

No matter what, the fact the United States has dropped some idiotic stubbornness over even talking to Iran and Syria is a positive.

BBC News:

The US is willing to attend a regional conference in Iraq next month that will include representatives from Iran and Syria, the White House says.

Iraq said the talks in Baghdad were aimed at seeking ways to stabilise the country and would be an "ice-breaker" for Western and regional powers.

The US recently stepped up the rhetoric against Iran and Syria, accusing them of fuelling the violence in Iraq.

But the US government has been under pressure to include them in dialogue.

The BBC's Jonathan Beale in Washington says the timing of the meeting may come as a surprise given the tension between the US and Iraq's neighbours.

But he says this may be a forum in which Washington will feel comfortable in raising its concerns and allegations that Iran is supplying Shia insurgents in Iraq with weapons.
The five permanent UN Security Council members and the Arab League are to be invited to the meeting.

Iran has been getting scolded more and more over its nuclear program, and President Ahmedinejad's domestic issues cease to lessen (see my advice).

If the Bush administration would have opened the dialogue earlier — like when everyone from the ISG to Congress to the UN to the Iraq government were saying they should — there could have been more progress in keeping Iraq from plunging into further political and humanitarian disarray; the former applies to the US too. Diplomacy is better than proxy warring (US versus whomever), for the warring parties and especially the third party (Iraq).

The Iraqi foreign minister said he wants Iraq to be a 'unifying issue' instead of a 'divisive issue'. I fully agree.

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