Syria hosts Iraqis ahead of Arab summit

March 27, 2008 at 5:33 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, March 27 (UPI) -- The Iraqi and Syrian foreign ministers met in Damascus to make preparations for presentations at the upcoming Arab League summit.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallim met with his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, in Damascus ahead of Saturday's meeting. Muallim noted the agenda for the meeting was approved, while Zebari stressed the summit represented an important chance to boost Arab solidarity, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a news release.

Zebari emphasized his wish that the Arab representatives would continue to support the efforts of the Iraqi government to maintain its own security and make improvement on issues concerning reconstruction.

The Iraqi minister said Arab leaders should recognize the importance of Iraqi's presence at the conference while reminding the leaders of their support for Iraqi sovereignty.

Several Arab states said they would send only low-level officials to attend the summit in Damascus over tensions regarding Lebanon's ongoing political crisis, Voice of America said.

Arab states awarded the summit to Damascus for Syria's role in an Arab peace accord regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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