Wednesday, April 1, 2009

US and Iran Meet at the Hague

Iran diplomatically criticizes Obama troop plan

San Francisco Chronicle — Iran's representative to an international conference here on Afghanistan criticized President Obama's plan to boost U.S. troops there but said Iran is "fully prepared" to participate in Afghan reconstruction projects and efforts to halt drug trafficking.
"The people of Afghanistan know their country better than anybody else does," Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh said, speaking in English Tuesday before a group of diplomats that included Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The presence of foreign forces has not improved things in the country, and it seems that an increase in the number of foreign forces will prove ineffective, too."
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Iran's offer of help to rebuild Afghanistan heralds new age of diplomacy with the US

Guardian UK — Senior western officials yesterday heralded a new spring in relations with Iran, after the Islamic regime made an historic offer to help US-led efforts in Afghanistan.
For the first time since Barack Obama came to office, US and Iranian officials met at an international conference in The Hague, with diplomats saying a possible turning point may have been reached between the US and the country it labelled part of the axis of evil seven years ago.
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Clinton Calls US-Iranian Meeting 'Promising'

Voice of America — Senior U.S. and Iranian leaders met Tuesday on the sidelines of an international conference in The Hague aimed at re-energizing international commitments for war-torn Afghanistan. Participants agreed to boost security and development in the central Asian nation.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the meeting that took place between U.S. special representative Richard Holbrooke and Iran's deputy foreign minister Mehdi Akhundzadeh as brief but cordial. She said the two sides had agreed to stay in touch.
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