AFP: Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari urged Iran and other neighbouring countries Thursday to refrain from interfering in his country's elections, as representatives met on this month's landmark vote. "The message we're going to give them in this meeting is to refrain from any interference ... that would affect the outcome of this election," Zebari told reporters in Amman. AFP

AMMAN - Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari urged Iran and other neighbouring countries Thursday to refrain from interfering in his country's elections, as representatives met on this month's landmark vote.

"The message we're going to give them in this meeting is to refrain from any interference ... that would affect the outcome of this election," Zebari told reporters in Amman.

"That's why we call on all our neighbors, including Iran, to help us in a positive and good faith to be able to make our own decisions, to have our own legitimate, representative government after these elections," he said.

"Iran is an important neighboring country ... It has influence over Iraq. But the decision to go to elections is an Iraqi decision, not an Iranian one." Zebari insisted "there's a regional intervention in Iraqi internal affairs".

Iraq is attending the Amman conference to win a pledge from neighbouring countries to "abide by the principles of non-interference of the affairs of each other", he said.

"We want this meeting to come out with an unequivocal message of support for the Iraqi elections ... and expect our neighbours to respect the will of the Iraqi people," from all factions.

He also called for Syria and other neighbours for action, "not words," to secure common borders against the infilration of terrorist groups fighting an insurgency in Iraq.

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