Foreign ministers of major nations in the Middle Eastern region and other major powers, are meeting in an effort to avoid war between Turkey and Iraq over Kurdish rebel attacks on the Turkish military. Secretary of State Rice and President Maliki of Iraq are joining the group in order to discuss initial draft documents. The Turkish government has been holding off on imposing economic sanctions or taking military action until the summit meeting has terminated and they have had an opportunity to talk with Secretary of State Rice. The draft document which will be reviewed, calls on Iraq to take effective measures to control its borders and prevent terrorist attacks from its territory upon other nations. The summit is attempting to explore the broader issue of terrorism which is a concern of all participants. Iran, for example, is being attacked by insurgents operating out of Iraqi soil. Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is also participating in the meeting. Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan emphasized that any measures taken by his nation will only target “the terrorist organization and not Iraq or the Iraqi people.”
Perhaps, one hopeful outcome of this summit meeting is creating a secretariat of regional foreign ministers who would meet on a regular basis in order to handle ongoing issues. Such a group would foster positive relations and trust. Of course, it would be extremely helpful, if at some point, Israel joined the group.