Iraqi PM wants ''new era of cooperation'' with Syria as nine Iraqis killed north of Baghdad

Published July 23rd, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi arrived Friday in Damascus for an official visit to Syria.  

 

Upon his arrival, Allawi called for a "new era of cooperation and coordination" between his country and Syria, the official news agency Sana reported. 

 

"We should start a new fraternal and sincere era of cooperation and coordination after the fall of the dictatorial regime in Iraq and the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people," Allawi was quoted as saying. 

 

He said he wanted to "build solid and complementary relations based on the interests" of Syria and Iraq. 

 

The visitor was welcomed at Damascus International Airport by his Syrian counterpart Mohammad Naji Ottri, ministers of Finance, Health, Transport, Interior, Oil & Mineral Resources , Local Administration and Environment. 

 

He was also met by Syria's Minister of State for the People’s Assembly Affairs and Chairman of State Planning Committee. 

 

The Iraqi leader said he would discuss "important economic and security questions" with Syrian officials. 

 

He will hold talks with President Bashar al-Assad on "developing bilateral relations and strengthening cooperation ... in various domains," Sana reported earlier. 

 

In the past, Iraqi and US officials accused Damascus of allowing fighters to infiltrate to Iraq from Syrian soil.  

 

Meanwhile, a van carrying Iraqi civilians collided with a U.S. tank in northern Baghdad, killing nine people and wounding 10, the U.S. military said Friday.  

 

The accident occurred about 10 p.m. Thursday night, said Spc. Justin McCue, a press official with the U.S.-led military occupation.  

 

"The van was attempting to pass another vehicle when it collided with the tank," McCue said.  

 

There were no U.S. casualties, McCue conveyed. (albawaba.com)

© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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