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Edwards: calming Iraq means talking to Syria, Iran

Stabilizing Iraq
requires U.S.
engagement with Iran
and Syria,
former Sen. John Edwards told Jewish Democrats.

The United States
must “engage other countries in the region, especially the Syrians and
Iranians,” Edwards said Monday at the National Jewish Democratic Council’s
Washington conference.

Edwards, who earned applause when he called for a troop
withdrawal, said Iran and Syria fear a collapse in Iraq as much as the other
regional powers. The U.S.
strategy in Iran,
Edwards said, should be to drive a wedge between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the
Iranian president who denies the Holocaust and rejects Israel’s
existence, and other Iranian political and religious leaders.

The Bush administration’s policy is to isolate Syria
until it stops backing terrorism; and Iran,
until it provides transparency about its nuclear programs.

The former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee
was the first speaker at the NJDC conference, at which virtually every Democrat
running for the 2008 nomination will speak. Edwards also called for the United States to prod NATO into establishing a no-fly zone over the
Darfur region of Sudan to end the genocide there.

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