Biden, Maliki discuss security matters

Sept. 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Vice President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki discussed regional security and other matters of mutual interest Friday, the White House said.

Among the security issues raised was the "need to prevent any state from taking advantage of Iraq's territory or airspace to send weapons to Syria," a White House readout of the telephone conversation said.

The question of whether Iran was sending the Syrian government weapons via Iraq was brought up this week in the U.S. Senate. Iraq has denied the allegation.

Biden also commended the leadership Maliki and his counterparts in the Kurdistan Regional Government demonstrated in seeking a compromise to develop Iraq's energy industry "so that all of Iraq's citizens may share in its benefits," the readout said.

Biden and Maliki also "reaffirmed that the long-term, strategic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq is an important source of stability in the region," the statement said.

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