- Title: EGYPT: Iraqi conference opens, US Secretary of state Rice could meet Iran, Syria
- Date: 3rd May 2007
- Summary: (W2) SHARM EL-SHEIKH, EGYPT (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF CONFERENCE HALL
- Embargoed: 18th May 2007 13:00
- Location: Egypt
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA5SHZ955KPQFFQK6V3CJ90BTRZ
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: An international conference to pledge support for Iraqi institutions opened in Egypt on Thursday (May 3), overshadowed by the possibility of high-level U.S. contacts with Iran and Syria.
Ministers from a dozen countries and international organisations were in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for meetings to approve an International Compact for Iraq.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Thursday, while Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
On Friday (May 4) Iraq, its neighbours and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council will talk about border security, Iraqi refugees and political reconciliation between Iraqi factions and ethnic and religious communities.
Senior Arab officials said Rice will meet both Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.
A time has not been set for any meetings and the United States has not confirmed they will take place.
U.S. officials say there is a higher probability Rice will meet Moualem, who will be with Rice on Friday at an expanded meeting of Middle East peace mediators.
The Compact for Iraq is a five-year plan that would pledge financial, political and technical support to Iraqi institutions in return for political, security and economic reforms.
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