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Photo: AP
Rice - Iran, Syria shouldn't need incentives to help with Iraq
Photo: AP
Rice hints Baker report to be snubbed
US secretary of state tells Washington Post that US will not 'trade away' Lebanon to Syria nor allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons – in exchange for peace in Iraq. Says administrations stepping up efforts for Israeli-Palestinian calm

Yet another hint that the US administration has little intention of implementing all of Baker-Hamilton report: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice rejected the Iraq Study Group's recommendation that the US turn to Syria and Iran for help in dealing with escalating violence in Iraq.

 

Rice, who gave an in-depth interview to the Washington Post newspaper which ran on Thursday, explained that the necessary "compensation" would be too high, further adding that she believes neither country should "need incentives to foster stability in Iraq."

 

"If they have an interest in a stable Iraq, they will do it anyway," said Rice, saying the US will not "trade away" Lebanon to Syria and will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon for calm in Iraq.

 

Rice stressed that the administration will continue to push for a democratic Mideast, insisting it is a "matter of strategic interest," this as opposed to the Baker-Hamilton report which made a point of underplaying that goal.

 

She reiterated the US's commitment to peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, saying that there will be many Mideast visits in the near future.

 

US Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte told the Post that he agreed with the Iraqi reality depicted in the Baker-Hamilton report, saying that the armed militias in Iraq were now financially self-sufficient by tapping into the money to be found in corruption, oil smuggling and kidnappings.

 

Rice indicated that despite criticism of Bush's policies there would not be extensive changes to the administration's goals for Iraq

 

 

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