Iraq, Syria agree to stop media campaigns, speed up returning ambassadors 2009-09-10 07:45:23   Print

    CAIRO, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said on Wednesday that he reached an agreement with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari to stop media campaigns between Syria and Iraq, speed up returning ambassadors and form security committees.

    Al-Moallem told a joint press conference with Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa in Arab League headquarters that he reached this agreement during a quadrilateral meeting included Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Moussa.

    Al-Moallem stressed that during his meeting with Zebari that the latter did not present any evidence to the recent accusations by Iraq to Syria, adding that Zebari said that Syria is not accused but there are some elements in Syria who are against achieving political reconciliation in Iraq.

    Arab foreign ministers held a meeting in Arab League headquarters on Wednesday in a bid to defuse the recent tension between Iraq and Syria in addition to discussing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    In this regard, the Syrian foreign minister called for achieving the Arab solidarity, putting an end to differences among the Arab countries to protect their interests.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Al-Moallem said: "We are ready to solve the crisis with Iraq," describing the tension in relations between the two countries as "something regrettable that does not serve the interests of both Syria and Iraq."

    He added that his country is keen on the unity and sovereignty of Iraq, considering security and stability of Iraq part of Syria's security and stability.

    From his part Moussa said that the two parts welcomed ending the differences in a "regional framework" and they welcomed mediation of Turkey and the Arab League.

    Moussa said that consultations would continue and there would be another quadrilateral meeting next week in Istanbul then a third meeting in New York.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Moussa expressed his hope that the recent tension between Syria and Iraq is "summer cloud" that would end soon.

    "Arab world at this stage is going through a critical turning point and a challenge of existence," Moussa said, calling for restoring the Arab solidarity as the "real guarantee" to protect the Arab interests.

    Relations between Iraq and Syria deteriorated after Baghdad alleged that Damascus is sheltering suspects linked to massive bombings, targeting government ministries in Baghdad on Aug. 19. Damascus said it wanted evidence from Baghdad.

    The tension between two countries escalated on Aug. 25 when they withdrew their respective ambassadors.

    About 18 Arab foreign ministers attended the meeting in Cairo on Wednesday to tackle series of issues, including Iraqi-Syrian tension and Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Editor: Anne Tang
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