US Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld cautioned Iran and Syria against using their influence in Iraq to undermine the newly elected government, but he also said he understands why the two neighbors of Iraq are so determined to resist US efforts to stop them.
"I think they are making a mistake," Rumsfeld told a news conference in this Sicilian seaside resort Friday after two days of talks with North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers.
The NATO meeting focused mainly on internal matters, on the alliance's relationship with Russia and with non-member countries in the Mediterranean region and on NATO participation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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