Iraqi president: I will never make anti-Iran statement
Iraq-Iran, Politics, 7/18/2006
Iraq's president Jalal Talabani today said that he will never make anti-Iran statement under barrage of questions pressing him to do so.
He was taking part in a news conference in Baghdad after a meeting with commander of US-led multi-national force held in presence of Iraqi vice-president Tareq al-Hashemi.
Some western and foreign correspondents were pressing Talabani to take anti-Iranian stance with allegations on Iranian and Syrian interference in Iraq's internal affairs.
Talabani instead called Iran and Syria "two friendly neighbors" and Iraqi relations with their governments as "excellent."
He said that he has heartfelt reservations about the two countries, "so you can't make me take stance against them." One of the foreign reporters asked Iraqi vice-president al-Hashemi who was present in the press conference about intervention of neighboring countries in Iraq's internal affairs.
"Iraq expects foreign countries to practice constructive and positive action if they want to do something for so-called defense of their national security," he answered.
Al-Hashemi said that interference causing instability in Iraq is not in interest of either party and all countries must take it into consideration.
Talabani added that stabilizing security in Iraq by military forces is not sufficient and it should include a comprehensive plan considering political, economic and cultural aspects as well as public partnership in the plan.
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