IPS: Baghdad Security Meeting Ends, Insecurity Does Not
Posted by uscsjp on March 12, 2007
BAGHDAD, Mar 12 (IPS) – The security conference held last Saturday in Baghdad produced statements, drew mortar fire, and brought little hope of security.
The conference, which was attended by representatives from 13 countries including Syria, Iran and the United States, was held inside the heavily fortified “green zone” in central Baghdad.
Representatives from Iraq’s six neighbouring countries (Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait and Syria) and delegates from the five permanent UN Security Council countries (the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France) were present along with several Arab representatives.
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani was reported to have observed the conference on video from his bed at the al-Hussein Medical City in Amman, Jordan.
International media were invited to show that the meeting was intent on bringing security to Iraq. That plan backfired after mortar shells landed within 50 metres of the conference centre, shattering glass panes in the building.
Conflict arose within the conference itself. Iran demanded a timetable for U.S. withdrawal. The United States accused Iran of assisting Shia militias.
“The whole world was there including some resistance fighters who, for the first time, responded to an Iraqi government call to attend a meeting,” Yassen Abdul Rahman, a lawyer and anti-occupation activist who attended the conference told IPS. (continued)