BAGHDAD, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki discussed with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden concerns over reports that Iran is using Iraq's airspace to deliver arms shipments to Syria, the Iraqi government said Saturday.
According to a statement issued by the Iraqi prime minister's office, Maliki received a phone call from Biden Friday afternoon, in which "Maliki expressed discomfort of his government about stirring suspicions by some unofficial American circles over Iraq' s stance towards the Syrian crisis."
Maliki reiterated his country's "firm stance in rejecting any arming shipments or violent activities via the land and airspace of Iraq."
On the other side, a briefing on the call released on the U.S. White House website said that Biden and Maliki "addressed issues of regional security, including the need to prevent any state from taking advantage of Iraq's territory or air space to send weapons to Syria."
U.S. officials and media reports have earlier said there are suspicions that Iranian aircraft are carrying weapons to Syria via Iraqi airspace, but Baghdad refused the allegations, saying that the Iranian flights are carrying humanitarian aid.
THE HAGUE, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The international diplomatic collective Friends of the Syria gathered in Scheveningen on Thursday to talk about strengthening sanctions, including an oil and arms embargo against Syria.
The group is a collective of over 70 countries and bodies convening periodically on the conflict-torn country. Full story
DAMASCUS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Syrian information minister said the situation in Syria now is better than any time throughout the 18-month crisis, as the state media said Friday the government troops have fully "purged" a restive suburb of the capital Damascus from armed militia.
"The situation in Syria today is better than any other day during the conspiracy Syria is subject to, and it has become clear for everyone to realize the identity of the enemy and its whereabouts... as well as who support it from outside and its tools from the inside," Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said in an interview with the state TV aired Friday. Full story