09/27/2004, 00.00
UN - IRAQ
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Willingness to hold international conference on Iraq is emerging, Solana says

Rome (AsiaNews/Agencies) – On his way home from the UN's General Assembly in News York the European Union Foreign Policy Commissioner Javier Solana said that a consensus is emerging over a possible international conference on Iraq. Such a gathering would include Iraq's interim government, its neighbours, the Group of Eight (G8) most industrialised states, the five permanent UN Security Council members, the European Union, the Organisation of Islamic states and other interested parties.

The EU foreign policy chief said the issue had been discussed in New York in view of holding a meeting open to many parties. He added however that he had no information about a possible date. "I don't know if it is possible [to organise it] before or after the Ramadan" which begins in October. Never the less, he said that "it's the will of everybody to have this type of meeting with the hope that it will be constructive and positive."

Mr Solana refrained from making any comments about French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier's suggestion that such a conference discuss the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq saying he was not aware of any such proposals or their conditions.

Asked by reporters about a possible delay in Iraq's elections Mr Solana said they "should go ahead in January as scheduled".
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