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IRAN - Sept. 16 - FM Kharazi Meets Albright.

US Secretary of State Albright and Iranian FM Kharazi take part in a meeting at the UN in New York to discuss Afghanistan. Albright says afterwards that she thought it had been a "useful meeting... this is encouraging". Kharazi did not comment to reporters. The meeting includes representatives from Afghanistan's 5 closest neighbours as well as Russia and America, and is chaired by UN Secretary-Gen. Annan. A US official says Albright had wanted to attend, not only because of the importance of the Afghanistan issue but also because it would be the 1st time the US would have close contact with Iran on a policy issue. Albright says later: "I was very interested in the similarity of our views on the problem of Afghanistan, the problems of fighting terrorism, narco-trafficking and the various issues there".

(Despite their foreign policy differences, the US and Iran share common interests in Afghanistan and an antipathy to the Taleban regime which controls most of the country. The 2 countries have had no diplomatic relations since Iranian students occupied the American embassy in Tehran in 1979. The crisis led to the severing of diplomatic ties and sweeping US sanctions against Iran, with the leader of the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, denouncing America as "the Great Satan". It was not until 1997, when moderate Pres. Khatami came to power, that relations began to improve. There have been further signs of a thaw in recent weeks. During last week, Albright sat in the audience for what she described as a thought-provoking lecture delivered at the UN by Khatami. Pres. Clinton also remained in the UN General Assembly to hear Khatami speak.)
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Title Annotation:foreign minister
Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Sep 16, 2000
Words:273
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