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    » 05/03/2007, 00.00

    EGYPT - IRAQ

    Sharm el-Sheikh is closed down: a two day summit for Iraq kicks off



    Two “parallel and independent” summits: today the International Compact for Iraqis launched; tomorrow bordering countries take front stage; small hopes of an Iran-US meeting. Maximum security levels in place in Sharm el-Sheikh and the entire region.

    Sharm el-Sheikh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Sharm el-Sheikh was closet off today for the first of two “parallel, but independent” conferences aimed at resolving the security crises and boosting the economy in Iraq.  Today May 3rd the International Compact for Iraq (ICI), co-chaired by Iraq and the UN through the UN special adviser and supported by the World Bank will be launched. the international meeting, which sees the participation of the G8 and European Union is set to approve a five year plan for security measures and economic development.

    The second summit, tomorrow May 4th will gathers foreign ministers from countries bordering Iraq, in an attempt to further political and cationic integration in the region.  The invitation was also extended to include western delegations.  There are great expectations for a possible meeting between Syria, Iran and the US all present at the Red Sea resort.  But no one is betting on a miracle.  If on the one hand US secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has expressed her willingness to discuss “any question that is asked” with Tehran, Iranian president  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  for his part has repeated that Washington would be “mistaken” in thinking there can be any negotiation over the nation’s nuclear programme.  Any eventual bilateral encounter would be the first since 1979, after the US hostage crises in the Tehran embassy, which led to a break down in diplomatic relations.

    Preparations for the “independent but parallel” summits brought with it a massive increase in security measures throughout the region, as the Iraqi foreign minister pointed out, an at the Sinai checkpoints officials have clamped down on crossings.  In order to dissuade any possible attack, many Egyptian who frequent the city have been invited to leave the area.  Only regular contract workers and residents have been permitted to stay in Sharm el-Sheikh.

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    See also

    02/05/2007 IRAQ - USA
    Bush vetoes timetable for US troop withdrawal from Iraq
    As was predicted, the US President blocked the law which established October 1st as the date for the brining of troop withdrawal from Baghdad. Great anticipation ahead of the security summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

    05/05/2007 EGYPT - IRAQ
    From Sharm a unanimous commitment to security in Iraq
    Yesterday the second and final day of an international summit focusing on security in Iraq closed. Bordering countries promise to block the flow of arms and terrorists and increase frontier controls; Iran avoids face to face dialogue with the US delegation.

    10/03/2007 IRAQ
    Baghdad invites neighbours to “refrain from interfering” in Iraq
    The International Conference on Security in Iraq opens, drawing Iran, Syria and the US to the same table. Premier al-Maliki pushes for a “firm stand” against terrorism in the country. Great expectations for the meetings outcome, but also many factors that could divide delegates.

    30/09/2008 IRAN - SYRIA - IAEA
    Tehran and Damascus candidates for IAEA governing council
    At the opening of the agency's meeting in Vienna, ElBaradei asserts that the military goals of Tehran's atomic program cannot be ruled out. Islamic states are preparing a motion to condemn Israel's nuclear capability.

    10/08/2007 SYRIA
    Syria claims it too is victim of Islamic terrorism
    During an international conference on security held in Damascus, Syrian intelligence officials discuss for the first time border attacks against Syria. For some analysts this is the price the Ba’athist regime is paying for closer ties to the United States as it vies for a more credible role in Lebanon.



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