Alberto Fernandez, director of public diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department, said in an interview aired Saturday on al-Jazeera television that the United States had shown "arrogance" and "stupidity" in Iraq but was now willing to talk to any group, outside of al-Qaida, to further reconciliation in the country.
A senior Bush administration official questioned whether the remarks had been translated correctly. "Those comments obviously don't reflect our position," said the official.
Since the beginning of October, 78 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq.
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