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EU Welcomes Call For Iraq Conference

27 September 2004 -- European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana today welcomed calls for an international conference on Iraq, saying it could be a "positive" step.

Speaking in Brussels, Solana said that such a meeting would likely involve Iraqi officials, Iraq's neighbors, UN and EU officials, and representatives from the Group of Eight industrialized countries.

However, Solana said it is unclear how soon such a conference could be held.

Solana's remarks come one day after U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell suggested the holding of an international conference on the situation in Iraq next month.

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier today said he thinks that any international conference on the Iraq conflict should deal with the question of whether U.S.-led forces should leave the country. Barnier also said that representatives of the armed opposition in Iraq should participate in such discussions.