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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 March 2007, 12:59 GMT
Mideast media caution on Iraq conference
US ambassador being welcomed to Baghdad peace conference
In attendance are several Mid Eastern states and UN Security Council permanent members.

Arabic and Iranian media reflected cautious optimism about the Baghdad security conference, with some insisting that Iraq could nonetheless not be stabilized in isolation from other regional problems. Others remained sceptical about US motives, or else saw the whole matter as a Jewish-led conspiracy to dominate the region.

Iraq's Al-Iraqiyah TV

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki affirmed that Iraq refuses to interfere in the affairs of others, and it also refuses that its land be used as a base for launching attacks against others. We expect the same treatment.

Spokesman of the "Islamic State in Iraq" in video on Al-Jazeera TV

The Baghdad security conference was organised by a coalition of all the infidel powers near and far, all of which are servants of a single Crusader-Jewish plan to stop the spread of Islam and erect a security fence around Israel, so that the greater Jewish state can be established in Holy Palestine and on the Promised Land as they claim. Beloved nation, you realize that nothing demonstrates the collapse and failure of the so-called security plan like the success of your sons, the soldiers of the Islamic State of Iraq, in storming Badush Prison in the province of Mosul, home of the Al-Hadba Minaret.

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV

Iraq's security conference seems like Iraq: another battleground for conflicting interests. The message was given before any statements had been made in the shape of mortars that fell near the Foreign Ministry.

Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV

The conference was a gathering that contained merely postponed agreements and follow-up committees. The statement at the end of the conference failed to include clear commitments to address the Iraqi security situation. It is nonetheless an important step to activate dialogue between the USA and Britain, on the one hand, and Iran and Syria on the other.

Analyst Amir al-Musawi on Iranian Al-Alam TV

US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad did not use un-diplomatic language as he has done before, but used encouraging terms... After 28 years of lack of contact between the US and Iran, US arrogance is making it difficult for them to offer concessions and negotiate... There has been clear coordination between Iran and Syria at the conference... The USA is ignoring the Iranian role in preventing the infiltration of gunmen into Iraq. Syria and Iran have ideas on controlling borders and could provide logistical means to the US to prevent such infiltration.

Abdallah al-Ash'al in London-based Al-Hayat

The meeting is significant by itself and for the signals its sends. It may be the beginning of many efforts that may lead to the resolution of this thorny dossier.

Jabir Habib Jabir in London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat

The international conference... points to an orientation - not necessarily conviction - on the part of the USA that the Iraq dilemma cannot be resolved in an atmosphere of tension with its neighbours, but through calm dialogue with parties furthest from the American stance (ie Iran and Syria)... In Iraqi terms, the conference is a good opportunity for the Iraqi government to show it holds the initiative... Internationally, it looks like the conference is another way of saying America is apologising for curtailing international participation in the Iraq issue, but without making any formal apology.

Iran's E'temad-e Melli

Certainly Iran and America play influential roles in the conference in Baghdad, while their impact on Iraq's affairs has a different nature. The role of America is highlighted because of the fact that Washington has occupied the country, but Iran's impact is important because of its spiritual influence on the people and the Shia in the country. Despite many differences and problems between the two countries of Iran and America, these two countries have an interest in doing their best to bring security back to Iraq and respect the territory of the country.

Iran's Resalat

Bush and his administration want to save face and deal with Iran from a superior position on the one hand, and they desperately need Iran's help in Iraq on the other hand. That's why they have put Iran under overwhelming pressure and launched hefty psychological warfare against the country. Adopting such paradoxical policies to deal with Iran has put America in a very shaky position in the international community.

Yasir al-Za'atrah in Jordan's Al-Dustur

As far as Bush is concerned, the main aim of the Baghdad conference is to relieve the internal pressure on him and to get the Arab moderates embroiled in the Iraqi crisis in the hope that they will press Sunni Arabs to halt their resistance. All this is intended to prepare the atmosphere for an attack against Iran, which is the main issue for the Zionists who steer his foreign policy.

Rafiq Khuri in Lebanon's Al-Anwar

The solution of the Iraqi situation would be very difficult without settling the other crises in the region, or at least reaching an understanding on political horizons for settlements in Lebanon, Palestine and regional and international relations. The crises are largely interrelated, and the players are the same in all the crises.

Egypt's Al-Akhbar

A solution to the Iraqi crisis cannot be achieved by security control alone, whatever the force, but only by reviewing the main political aspects, establishing justice and providing equal chances for all sects and categories representing the Iraqi people.

Saudi Al-Riyadh

Iran and Syria can talk through the concepts of their regional security with the USA and the strategic imbalance caused by the occupation of Iraq, but the USA, although depicted by some people as in a position of weakness, remains the most dangerous element. That is why Iraq needs open cooperation between all countries participating in the conference.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

Country profile: Iraq
22 Jan 07 |  Country profiles

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