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International Officials Join Arab Leaders at Iraq Conference in Egypt


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and international officials join Arab leaders Tuesday for the second day of a conference focusing on Iraq's security situation and national elections.

On Monday, Iraq and its neighbors met at the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh and drafted a declaration to be issued at the end of today's meeting, which also includes the United Nations, European Union and Russia. The draft offers strong support for the Iraqi election, set for January 30.

It also sets no timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, but states that their mandate is not open-ended.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, gunmen killed a Sunni Muslim cleric in the small town of Miqdadiya, north of Baghdad Tuesday, a day after another prominent Sunni cleric was gunned down in the city of Mosul. Both clerics were members of the country's influential Sunni group, the Muslim Clerics Association.

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