Pentagon Delays Iraq Bidders' Conference

A conference for companies seeking to take part in the 18-point-six billion dollars in Iraq rebuilding contracts has been delayed.

The meetings were to take place today, but have been pushed back to December 19th.

The delay comes amid a furor over a U.S. order barring countries that didn't support the U.S. led war from bidding on the contracts.

A spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad declined to comment on whether the delay is linked to the dispute over the Pentagon directive. The spokesman simply mentions scheduling conflicts.

The conference was to have taken place in two locations in the United States. The coalition spokesman says the rescheduled conference will be held just outside Washington at a suburban Virginia hotel.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.