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Clark calls for 'dialogue' in Mideast

Aug. 28, 2005 at 7:18 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The United States needs to engage diplomatically with Iraq's neighbors to help stabilize the region, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark said Sunday.

Appearing alongside retired Gens. Barry McCaffrey, Montgomery Meigs and Wayne Downing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Clark said a "regional dialogue" was needed to work with the political growth of a democratic Iraq.

"Without (a dialogue), then it's in the interest of every one of those states to fight inside Iraq for their own interests," Clark said. "So the Iranians pull their faction in Iraq one way; the Syrians and the Saudis work on the Sunnis to do what they want; and this state is getting ripped apart from the outside."

Clark said a lack of widespread diplomacy could mean that Iran and a Shiite-dominated Iraq could be at long-term odds with Sunni-controlled Islamic republics to the west.

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