US, Iran hold talks at UN Afghan conference

March 31st, 2009 - 11:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama The Hague, March 31 (DPA) Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Tuesday held talks with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Akhunzadeh at a conference on Afghanistan here.
“During the course of the conference today, our special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, had a brief and cordial exchange with the head of the Iranian delegation,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

While she did not herself have any direct exchanges with Akhundzadeh, Clinton said he and Holbrooke had agreed to “stay in touch”.

Clinton also praised Akhundzadeh’s short speech during the conference, in which he vowed to help combat illegal drug trafficking and rebuild Afghanistan.

“The Iranian intervention this morning was promising,” Clinton said.

“The fact that they came and intervened today is a promising sign that there will be future cooperation,” she added, noting that the fight against Afghan opium production was a concern shared by Iran and the international community.

US President Barack Obama recently wrote an open letter to Iran in a bid to overcome long-standing and bitter divisions between the two countries.

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