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International gathering works out Iraq's future

International gathering works out Iraq's future
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A “Who’s Who” of the international community are meeting at an Egyptian resort to work out how to help rebuild Iraq. Delegates at the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh say the most crucial upcoming event is parliamentary elections in the country set for January 30th.

Attacks on US-led forces and Iraqi targets continue and threaten to undermine the vote or at least prevent Iraqis from taking part in many areas of the country.

Some ethnic groups like Arab Sunnis have also called for the elections to be boycotted so long as the Americans remain in the country. The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who is at the talks with America’s top diplomat Colin Powell said it was important between now and January 30th to get all Iraqi religious and political factions to show support for the vote.

Some Arab leaders at the conference have said no real progress can be made in Iraq unless the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is addressed at the at the same time.