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Blair meets Rice over Iraq, Iran
www.chinaview.cn 2005-10-17 01:49:53

    LONDON, Oct. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair met US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday in London forprivate talks over Iran and Iraq.

    "The majority of the discussions concerned Iraq, they were greatly encouraged by the level of participation in the referendum and look forward to the political process continuing through to elections in December and beyond," a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

    "They also discussed issues relating to the improvement in the security situation in Iraq," she said.

    "On Iran they discussed their shared concern about the need forIran to meet its international obligations," she added.

    Before heading to a private lunch with Blair at his country residence Chequers, north of London, Rice expressed her full support to Britain over its handling of Iran, which was accused of developing nuclear weapons and involvement in insurgent attacks on British troops in Iraq.

    "The British are doing everything that they can," Rice said.

    In August, talks between Iran and Britain, France and Germany (EU-3) broke down because Iran rejected a deal that offered trade and other incentives for a full cessation of fuel cycle work, the focus of fears that Iran could acquire nuclear weapons.

    Rice also said the US had warned Iran over its possible involvement in helping insurgent bomb attacks in Iraq.

    "We have tried to deliver a message... about this issue of improvised explosive devices in Southern Iraq," Rice said.

    "We have channels with which to do it. But we use them sternly and pretty specifically to deliver messages," said she.

    The US has no formal diplomatic ties with Iran but occasionallytalks to the government through Swiss diplomats in Tehran or through the Islamic republic's ambassador to the United Nations inNew York.

    Rice arrived in London on Saturday, the last leg of her European tour across Russia, Central Asia and Europe to gather support for encouraging Iran to return to international talks. Andshe left for the US on Sunday afternoon after meeting Blair. Enditem

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