07/25/2007, 00.00
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Tehran and Washington trade accusations as diplomacy struggles on

US and Iranian positions on Iraq remain far apart, but diplomatic relations between the two archenemies might inch up to a higher level.

Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – US Ambassador Ryan Crocker and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi-Qomi ended their second round of talks in two months with no tangible results, trading accusations and counter-accusations. However, a meeting between deputy foreign ministers might be in the cards, which would represent a slight improvement in diplomatic relations between the two great foes.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki is quoted as saying that talks between Iran and the US can be considered. However, Washington continues to blame Tehran for fomenting violence in Iraq, providing support for Shia militia groups. For their part, Iranians are demanding the US withdraws troops.

Still both sides did agree to form a security committee, with Iraq, to focus on containing Sunni insurgents, concentrating on the threat from groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq. No agreement. Shia militias were not considered notwithstanding the fact that the US accuses Iran of funding and training them.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appealed to both Iranians and Americans for help to fight violence and extremism and guarantee stability with no one meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

On Monday, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani also held separate talks with the two ambassadors, urging them to work together for Iraq’s sake.

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