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Security Officials Gather To Discuss Iraq

Iraqi security is a regional issue (file photo) 30 November 2004 -- Interior ministers and other security officials from Iraq and its neighboring countries are convening in Tehran today to begin two days of talks about Iraq and regional security issues.

Representatives from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey, and Jordan -- as well as from Egypt and the United Nations -- are expected to participate in the discussions on regional border security, preparations for Iraq's 30 January elections, and the war on terrorism.

Iran has denied U.S. allegations that it is supporting the insurgency in Iraq, saying its 1,600-kilometer common border is hard to police alone.

Iraqi officials have not yet responded to an offer from Iran to train Iraqi police and border guards, and provide them with equipment to protect their own borders. The two countries fought a war from 1980 to 1988 that killed or wounded nearly 1 million people on both sides.