In his address to an international conference on Iraq, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zibari is to praise Egypt for "showing regional leadership by taking the decision to appoint the first Arab ambassador we hope to soon welcome in the new Iraq", according to the text of his speech.

 

Arab nations withdrew their ambassadors from Baghdad under Saddam Hussein.

 

Some, including Egypt, have diplomats in Baghdad, but none at the ambassador level - a source of irritation to Iraq's transitional government, which considers it less than full commitment to Iraq.

 

Egypt is one of Iraq's many Middle East neighbours attending the Brussels conference hosted by the European Union and the United States on Iraq's future.

 

Foreign ministers were also expected to discuss diplomatic relations and border control at the gathering.