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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bad neighbors

President Bush may not want to admit that Iraq is moving rapidly toward civil war, but the surrounding states are starting to fear it. From the AP (after appearing in The Washington Post):
Top intelligence officers from several Arab countries and Turkey have been meeting secretly to coordinate strategies in case civil war erupts in Iraq and in an attempt to block Iran's interference in the war-torn nation, Arab diplomats said Tuesday....

The four diplomats said intelligence chiefs from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and non-Arab Turkey held a series of meetings over the past few weeks to assess the situation in Iraq and work out plans to avoid any regional backlash that may result from sectarian conflict in Iraq.
Iran and Syria were apparently excluded, and part of the conversation concerned the possibility of an "American-Iranian deal."

Unlike Iraq (and Iran), most of the states that met are majority Sunni and some are openly concerned that the region may see development of a dangerous "Shiite crescent."

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