British, US and Iraqi officials have been in talks with insurgent groups in Iraq to try to bring them into the political process.
The British Prime Minister made the revelation after talks at Downing Street with his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
However both men stressed there would be no compromise on giving into terrorism, saying there was no contact with hardliners such as al-Qaeda’s Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Jaafari described him as being at the extreme end of a spectrum.
He also said he was convinced that security and law and order could be re-established within two years – a much more optimistic view than that expressed by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who said on Monday that such a task may take up to a dozen years.
Violence in Iraq continued unabated yesterday with US forces reporting a helicopter crash and at least one US soldier gunned down.