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Middle East
Syria seeks US pull-out timetable
Syrian foreign minister discusses restoring diplomatic ties with Iraq.
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2006 12:21 GMT

Moallem, left, with Zebari. Moallem is the first
Syrian official to visit Iraq since 1982

Setting a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq would reduce violence, Walid Moallem, the Syrian foreign minister, has said.
 
Moallem, on the first official Syrian visit to Iraq since 1982, and his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, said on Sunday in Baghdad they had discussed restoring diplomatic relations between the two nations.
"We believe that a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq will help in reducing violence and preserving security," Moallem said.
 

He also called on Iraqis to put aside sectarian and ethnic divisions and to end the violence that is ravaging the country.

Moallem said: "We are exerting all our efforts and understand that Iraq's security is part of our security. We will co-operate and we have specific ideas to discuss with the brothers in Iraq in order to set up this co-operation."
 

"We believe that a timetable for the withdrawal ... will help in reducing violence"

Walid Moallem, Syrian foreign minister
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He also promised to co-operate with the Iraqi authorities as they struggle to control the fighting.
 

 

"Syria renews its condemnation of all acts of terrorism that are occurring in Iraq and are harming the Iraqi people. We call you to cling to your unity," he said.

 

Moallem also countered US and Iraqi complaints about poor control of the long border between Iraq and Syria, saying that Washington was unable to control its border with Mexico and had resorted to constructing a wall.

Source:
Agencies
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