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Iraq's Talabani to Meet With Iran's President on Iraqi Security


Iraqi officials say President Jalal Talabani is to travel to Tehran Monday to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The talks are expected to focus on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq and how Iran can help stem sectarian violence.

Iran is said to have influence with Shi'ite factions and militias in Iraq.

The New York Times newspaper says a bi-partisan panel studying U.S. strategic options in Iraq is expected to urge the Bush administration to undertake aggressive regional diplomacy, including direct talks with Iran and Syria.

The Times quoted officials familiar with the plan as saying the panel will not recommend a specific timetable for a military withdrawal.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki urged rival factions of his government to unite to prevent more sectarian violence, which killed a number of Iraqi across the country Sunday.

Mr. Maliki said public disputes among Iraq's politicians are fueling the bloodshed.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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