Iraq's Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi walks to an airplane during his departure at Damascus airport December 26,2008 after a three-day visit to Syria. (Xinhua Photo)
DAMASCUS, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Iraqi Vice
President Tareq al-Hashemi expressed on Thursday appreciation over Syria's
hosting Iraqi refugees and caring for them, the official SANA news agency
Hashemi made the remarks during a meeting with Syrian
Interior Minister Bassam Abdel Majid in which they discussed the state of Iraqi
refugees in Syria and the services and facilities provided to them in the
social, educational and health fields.
Hashemi affirmed his country's desire to bolster
bilateral relations to meet the expectations of both countries and their
peoples, SANA said.
In turn, Abdel Majid stressed that Syria would
continue to provide the best services and facilities to Iraqi refugees in
cooperation with national and international agencies and organizations.
He underlined the importance of communication between
the two governments to provide better living conditions for the refugees until
they return to their home country.
The Syrian government says there are about 1.2 million Iraqi refugees in Syria now, down from a number of 1.5 million two years ago.
Iraq's Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi (L) embraces his Syrian counterpart Farouq al-Shara before his departure at Damascus airport December 26, 2008 after a three-day visit to Syria. (Xinhua Photo)