AFP: US and Iranian experts postponed a meeting to discuss Iraq’s security at Iran’s request but the two sides will arrange a new meeting, the US State Department said Thursday. WASHINGTON (AFP) US and Iranian experts postponed a meeting to discuss Iraq’s security at Iran’s request but the two sides will arrange a new meeting, the US State Department said Thursday.
“We were perfectly prepared to early next week have this meeting as scheduled. Apparently there was some scheduling conflict on the other side,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.
He confirmed he meant Iran when talking about “the other side.”
“And we’re going to look for another mutually convenient date to get together,” McCormack said.
“I don’t know the specifics of who came to whom, but the bottom line came out that there were scheduling conflicts on the other side and they said, ‘Can we look for another date?’ And our response is, ‘Sure.'”
In Baghdad earlier, Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Labid Abbawi said “the meeting has been postponed for technical reasons linked to the schedules of different participants. We are working to set a new date.”
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari had said on Monday that officials from Tehran, Washington and Baghdad would meet on December 18 to thrash out strategies aimed at quelling the violence in Iraq.
The meeting would be the fourth round of talks among the three parties.
US commanders have in the past accused Iran of providing covert support to Iraq extremists, but amid a sharp reduction in violence in recent weeks they have said the alleged support appears to have ended.
Iran has consistently denied providing Iraqi militias with funding or training.