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Iraq, Neighbors Meet on Bolstering Border Security - 2004-07-22

Countries neighboring Iraq have agreed to send their interior ministers and security officials to Iran to discuss ways to secure their borders against armed infiltrators.

Iraq's Foreign Minister, Hoshyar al-Zebari, said a meeting Wednesday in Cairo of Iraq's six bordering neighbor countries, plus Egypt, had focused on developing what he called "mechanisms for security."

Mr. al-Zebari said Iraq had asked its neighbors for help in enhancing the security and stability of the Iraqi people. It has been proposed and agreed upon, he said, to hold future security meetings to focus on the issues of infiltration and maintaining border controls.

The agreement to meet in Iran at a future, yet to be decided date appeared to be the main achievement by the foreign ministers of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Egypt.

Iraq's neighboring ministers, in a final communiqué, said their governments welcomed the transfer of authority to the interim Iraqi government but made no promises to fully recognize it diplomatically.