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VOA Interviews Iraqi President

Talabani assures neighboring countries new strategic agreement with US poses no threat

Washington, D.C., June 27, 2008 – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, in an exclusive interview with the Voice of America (VOA), assured Iraq's neighbors that the forthcoming long-term strategic agreement between his country and the United States would not pose a threat for them.

"Iraq is in its springtime because our relations have never been as good as it is today with other countries," said President Talabani.

He also hoped that all Iraqi groups would understand the importance of the strategic agreement with the United States.

On Iraq's relations with neighboring Turkey, the President told VOA the Turkish Prime Minister will visit Baghdad and there will be an accord between the two countries regarding bilateral relations. He added: "Currently, Iraqi Kurds and Turkey have good relations following several meetings in Baghdad, Kurdistan and London."

President Talabani's remarks follow a meeting with President Bush Wednesday where both leaders called for a long-term strategic agreement between Iraq and the United States. The Senate also passed a $162 billion bill Thursday that will continue to finance operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through the end of the Bush administration.

VOA's Kurdish Service broadcasts four hours of daily programming on radio and the Internet. In addition to radio broadcasts on shortwave and AM, the programs are broadcast on FM in several cities in Iraq. Further coverage of the Middle East can be found online at

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,250 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail