Talabani's Iran visit put on hold

Extension of curfew forces Iraq's president to postpone his Iran trip a second time.

    President Talabani was originally due
    in Tehran on Saturday

    Talabani had been originally due to leave for Tehran on Saturday to meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his Iranian president, to discuss the situation in Iraq.

    "The Tehran visit is still on, but the airport is closed. As soon as the airport opens we will leave to Tehran"

    Jalal Talabani
    Iraqi President

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    Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, was supposed to join Talabani and Ahmadinejad this weekend but reports from Tehran said Syria appeared to be staying away from the summit.


    Meanwhile, a UN envoy has urged Iraq's government to halt a slide into civil war and stop the "cancer" of sectarianism from destroying the country, warning that the carnage of this week could tear Iraq apart.


    Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said on Saturday car bombs that killed more than 200 Shias and "blind acts of revenge" were "tearing apart the very political and social fabric of Iraq".


    "No country could tolerate such a cancer in its body politic," he said in a statement.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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