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US denies claims of rift with UK over Iraq

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US denies claims of rift with UK over Iraq


There is no disagreement. That is the message from the White House amid claims that foreign policy proposals by Tony Blair have caused a crack in the US-UK alliance over Iraq. The British prime minister’s call for Syria and Iran to help stabilize Iraq prompted the speculation. Blair is seen as piling pressure on the US president to tackle Iraq as part of a wider Middle East strategy. Via video link, he outlined his vision to the bipartisan US study group reassessing Washington’s policy in Iraq. Blair said that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with broad regional support would pressure Damascus and especially Tehran to co-operate.

In response, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad envisaged talks with the US “should it correct its behaviour,” as he put it. The Iraq Study Group is led by former Secretary of State James Baker, who believes that Washington should be capable of talking to its enemies.

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