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US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said today there had been contacts between the Iraqi government and insurgents in the violence-racked country.
Declining to detail exactly who had been talking to whom, the architect of the US-led invasion in 2003 told BBC television's Newsnight program the contacts were broad ranging and crucial to establishing stability.
"It's a full spectrum of opinion and viewpoint, and the task is to not get people way in the far end, who have blood on their hands over here, it's just to get everyone to keep moving in the right direction towards support of the government," he said.