US rejects reaching out to Iran, Syria: report | india | Hindustan Times
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US rejects reaching out to Iran, Syria: report

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 13:14 IST
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice rejected reaching out to Iran and Syria in an interview with the Washington Post published on Friday, saying neither country should need an incentive to push for stability in Iraq.

Rice said the "compensation" needed for any deal would likely be too high, and that she did not want to trade Lebanese sovereignty to Syria or allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon as a price for peace in Iraq.

"If they have an interest in a stable Iraq, they will do it anyway," Rice told the Post.

While her statements are in line with what President George W Bush and his top administration officials have been saying for years, it rejects a key element of the recent Iraq Study Group report, which calls for talks with both Iran and Syria to help achieve stability in Iraq.

Rice also said she was committed to pushing for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

"Get ready. We are going to the Middle East a lot," she told the Post.

Rice said that Bush could be "quite expansive" when it came to its ongoing review of Iraq policy, and that the new plan would be a "departure" from the current policy.

However she warned not to expect any radically different changes in the president's long-term goals in Iraq.

The White House said the president's Iraq strategy overhaul will be announced in early 2007.

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