DAMASCUS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed Saturday his country's full support to the formation of the Iraqi national unified government as soon as possible, the Syrian official news agency SANA reported.
Al-Assad made the remarks in a meeting with the Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, as he stressed the delay of achieving this urgent step would be reflected negatively on the Iraqi national interest.
The bilateral relationship between Syria and Iraq was also discussed as the Shiite leader highly appreciated the Syrian stance of hosting the Iraqi refugees since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, said SANA.
Syria is currently hosting more than one million Iraqi refugees who have fled their home country since 2003.
Along with Ali al-Sistani and Ammar al-Hakim of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Sadr is one of the most influential religious and political figures in the country.
During the last few months, many of Iraqi key figures paid a visit to Damascus, such as Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq(ISCI), Ayad Allawi, leader of the Iraqi National Movement, Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Chairman of the Iraqi Accord Front Ayad al-Samarrai.