Monday, May 01, 2006
AP: Iraqi president meets with armed insurgents - May 1
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer -- Monday, 1 hour, 43 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - President Jalal Talabani, left, met with representatives of seven armed groups and is optimistic they may agree to lay down their weapons, his office said Sunday. It was the first time a senior Iraqi official has acknowledged talks with insurgents.
However, Talabani did not identify the groups or specify when and where the meeting took place. The spokesman of one major insurgent group, the Islamic Army in, said his organization had not taken part in such a meeting.
Last year Talabani offered to talk with insurgents but it was unclear if any took up the offer. U.S. officials have acknowledged meeting Iraqis who had ties to Sunni Arab insurgents but not with representatives of those groups.
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