Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Jordan asks for Iran's active participation in Iraq conference

Description of Selected News: "Jordan asks for Iran's active participation in Iraq conference

AMMAN (IRNA) -- Jordan government's spokeswoman Asma Khedr here on Monday asked for Iran's active presence at Amman Iraq's Neighbors Conference, Scheduled to be held on January 2005. Speaking at a press conference, she said, "Ministers of foreign affairs of Iraq's neighboring countries have all been invited to take part at the conference, aimed at exchanging viewpoints on current developments in Iraq, particularly Iraq's first historic free elections." Jordan government's spokeswoman referring to possibility of the Iranian foreign minister's absence at Amman conference on Iraq, further reiterated, "We hope to see Mr. Kharrazi in Amman for the event." The Jordanian government's spokeswoman said, "Iran's presence at the event would be effective and beneficial, and its absence would be regarded as a loss."

Amman Iraq's Neighbors Conference is scheduled to be opened here on January 15th, in the presence of ministers of foreign affairs of Iraq's neighboring countries, Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey.

Iran said Sunday that Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi might boycott a meeting of Iraq's neighbors in Amman next after the Jordanian king charged that Tehran was meddling in Iraq's affairs.

Jordan's King Abdullah II earlier this month accused Iran of trying to influence the January 30 Iraqi elections in a bid to create a "crescent" dominated by Shi'as extending from Iraq to Lebanon. "It is in Iran's vested interest to have an Islamic republic of Iraq... and therefore the involvement you're getting by the Iranians is to achieve a government that is very pro-Iran," he told the Washington Post on December 8.

Relations between Tehran and Amman have improved unprecedented ever since President Mohammad Khatami took charge. Both countries' leaders have visited each other's capitals since then.

Diplomatic ties were broken for nearly a decade because of Jordan's pro-Iraqi stance under the late King Hussain during the Iran-Iraq war from 1980-1988.

Relations were restored in 1991 and improved when King Abdullah took the throne in 1999 but hit a bad patch in 2002 over accusations Iran was violating Jordan's security. However King Abdullah made a landmark visit to Iran in September 2003,"


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