Interior ministers of Iraq’s neighboring states plus Egypt are to convene for a two-day meeting in Tehran on Nov. 30, Iran’s official news agency reported Saturday.
Such a meeting was agreed to in July, but no date was set. The ministers are expected to be accompanied by senior security officials who can share intelligence on militants and other people suspected of being linked to the insurgency in Iraq.
Egypt and Syria have said their interior ministers will attend, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Analysts say Iran hopes that by hosting the meeting, it will send a signal, particularly to the United States, that it recognizes the threat the al-Qaida terror group poses both to Iraq and to itself. Al-Qaida, which is led by Osama bin Laden, has strong ties to the major Iraqi insurgency group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
“Iran wants to show that it is willing to have a better and more positive position on Iraq,” said Iranian political analyst Saeed Laylaz.
There have been several meetings of Iraq’s neighbors, plus regional heavyweight Egypt, since the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in April 2003. Most recently, Egypt hosted a meeting of the neighbors’ foreign ministers in Cairo in July.