Allies Urge US to Seek Help from Iran, Syria

A0097859.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- US President George W. Bush was under pressure from some of his closest allies yesterday to turn to arch enemies Iran and Syria for help in stabilizing Iraq.  

British Prime Minister Tony Blair was expected late last night to call for Syria and Iran to be engaged in efforts to stem violence in Iraq and to secure a broader Middle East peace settlement.

Blair will argue the need for a Middle East strategy that includes making clear to Damascus and Tehran how they can help in the region a spokeswoman said.

Prime Minister John Howard of Australia, another of Bush’s loyal backers in Iraq, also said talks should be held with Syria and Iran on ending the violence in Iraq.

In Washington, Bush also sat down yesterday with members of a bipartisan group charged with finding ways to bring peace to Iraq.

Bush met with the two chairmen of the Iraq Study Group, former Secretary of State James Baker, former Democratic Representative Lee Hamilton of Indiana and 10 other members. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and ousted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were also at the meeting.

Rice postponed her planned departure for the Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam to participate in a series of meetings on Iraq, her spokesman said.



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