Iran, Iraq, meet over search for 1980-88 war missing

28th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Iran and Iraq have held a meeting in Geneva to spur efforts to trace people reported missing on both sides following the 1980-1988 war between the two countries, the ICRC said Thursday.

Since the two countries signed an agreement in 2008 to expedite the long-stalled search with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the remains of more than 250 people have been repatriated, it added.

Information was also obtained on the fate of more than 2,000 missing people.

"Over 20 years have passed since the war ended, and tens of thousands of Iranian and Iraqi families still do not have closure, as they still do not know what happened to their missing loved ones," said Eric Marclay, ICRC senior deputy head of operations for the Middle East.

"We very much welcome the progress achieved, and the commitment and determination of the authorities on both sides," he added.

No details were given on any concrete outcome from the two-day meeting between representatives of Iran and Iraq at the Geneva-based ICRC, the first of its kind since the agreement was signed two years ago.

Ties between predominantly Shiite Iran and Shiite-majority Iraq have warmed considerably since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated regime in a US-led invasion in 2003.

On Monday, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telephoned his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani and discussed boosting relations between the two neighbours, Iranian state media reported.

About one million people died in the 1980-88 war.

© 2010 AFP

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