FM: Iran still considering its participation in Iraq security meeting
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday that Tehran was still considering the matter of whether it will send its deputy foreign minister to attend the upcoming security meeting in Baghdad scheduled for March 11.
According to IRNA, he said the idea of holding a meeting of foreign ministers of Iraqi neighboring states in Baghdad was first offered to Iran and Syria. "Certain countries proposed holding of the meeting at the level of deputy foreign ministers. Iran agreed with the offer," he added.
Pointing to the proposal of some states to have representatives of permanent members of the UN Security Council in the meeting, Mottaki said he was consulted on this matter by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari. "In our talks with the Iraqi side in the past 10 days we raised certain points regarding the proposal," he said.
Mottaki, elaborating on the proposal of including the five permanent members of the Security Council in the meeting, he said that "the goal of participants in the meeting should be to provide assistance to the Iraqi government and any decision made should be be made by officials inside and not outside the country."
He also stressed that the framework and structures which had been established through the efforts of Iraq's neighboring states should be respected. "We told the Iraqi side that if countries outside the region are to attend meetings of Iraq's neighboring states, the framework created through the efforts of these states should be observed," Mottaki added.