Asked if the Prime Minister would be discussing new American thinking on Iraq with King Abdullah later today, specifically opening talks with Syria and Iran, the PMOS replied that firstly the Americans had always said that they would take part in the Contact Group, this was not new. Secondly, in terms of Iran and Syria, the issue was not contact, the issue was their response, and whether they engaged properly, and whether we would see a constructive attitude. Meeting was good, but results had to flow from these meetings. We welcomed contact, but equally we wanted to see hard concrete results – both on the ground in Iraq, on the ground in Lebanon, and on the ground in terms of influence used in Palestine as well. Those were the results that we were looking for.
Asked what level of officials would be attending the proposed meeting with Iran & Syria to discuss Iraq, the PMOS replied that he did not know offhand, but it would be the appropriate level for the Contact Group. To stress again, people needed to keep this in context. This was a Contact Group, something we had always strongly supported. But equally we were looking for the response from Iran and Syria in reality, not just in rhetoric.
Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news
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