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SWJED
05-05-2007, 07:04 AM
5 May Washington Post - At Meeting on Iraq, Doubt and Detente (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/04/AR2007050402004.html) by Karen DeYoung.


Mutually suspicious and doubtful, Iraq's neighbors and benefactors nonetheless agreed here Friday on a shared vision for the beleaguered country's future and pledged to work together to help achieve it.

The Bush administration contributed by ending its long diplomatic isolation of Iran and Syria, both of which it accuses of backing violent forces in Iraq. Two senior administration officials had a brief and largely symbolic conversation with an Iranian official Friday morning, a day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held bilateral talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem. Administration officials said they expected the contact, limited to Iraq issues, to continue if it brought results...

SWJED
05-05-2007, 07:07 AM
5 May NY Times - U.S. Now Reaching Out to Those It Shunned (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/05/world/middleeast/05diplo.html?ref=world) by Michael Slackman and Helene Cooper.


After two days of talks aimed at building an international strategy to help bring peace and stability to Iraq, little changed in what many here saw as the crucial factor: relations between Iran and the United States.

The United States reached out to the Iranians, seeking a diplomatic conversation after years of pursuing a policy of trying to isolate them.

But the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, seemed unimpressed, offering a blistering critique of the American role in Iraq. He also used the international platform to attack Israel and to reaffirm Iranís right to a nuclear program, which it says is peaceful and the West says is intended to build weapons...

jcustis
05-05-2007, 02:36 PM
This is the effort that we must "stay the course" on, as we prosecute ops within Iraq.

And no matter how many blistering critiques we get, we cannot afford to walk out. We don't have to kowtow to some of the silliness, but we must maintain a diplomatic channel out there and stop sticking our head in the sand while assuming the problems will go away.