Syria keen on security and stability in Iraq: president
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stressed the country's keenness to ensure security and stability in Iraq and support a political process ensuring the entire population's participation.
The remarks came during Al-Assad's meeting with Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council leader Ammar Al Hakim, the SANA news agency reported.
The Syrian president noted the importance of strengthening Syria-Iraq relations.
His statements were made on the backdrop of recent tensions between the two Arab countries after the Iraqi government announced the involvement of Syrian officials in organizing several major attacks in Baghdad.
Al Hakim appreciated Syria's standing by the Iraqi people and supporting all efforts to preserve Iraq's unity, security and stability, the agency reported.
Baghdad said that organizers of two major terrorist attacks that killed over 250 people in the Iraqi capital have sought shelter in Damascus.
In addition, Iraqi officials said the organizers of a series of attacks in Baghdad that claimed the lives of 127 people last Tuesday received support from Syria or Saudi Arabia. Officials also said the actions by the militants attempt to disrupt the political process in Iraq, as the bombings took place shortly after the authorities announced a new date for the general elections March 7.
The security situation in Iraq has deteriorated dramatically since the beginning of discussions over the national elections next year. The voting was postponed until spring, although earlier scheduled for January, after Vice President Tariq Al Hashimi vetoed a law on elections which in his opinion disregards the rights of Iraqi refugees.