Syrian, Iraqi Foreign Ministers Discuss Boosting Long-Strained Ties

Published June 25th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Syrian and Iraqi foreign ministers met in Damascus Sunday for talks on repairing bilateral relations following the highest-ranking visit to Syria by an Iraqi official in two decades. 

Iraqi Foreign Minister, Mohammed Said Sahhaf, told reporters after meeting Syria's Farouq Shara that "we discussed bilateral ties and positive links that the two (countries) want to strengthen in their interests." 

The two countries took a first step toward rapprochement in 1997, opening their border to businessmen, and in March, Baghdad opened an interest section in Damascus. 

Iraqi Vice President, Taha Mohieddin Maaruf, represented his country at the June 13th funeral of Syrian president Hafez Assad, becoming the highest-ranking Iraqi official to visit Syria since the breaking of ties. 

Sahhaf said he stopped in Syria on his way to Malaysia for the Organization of the Islamic Conference foreign ministers' meeting June 27th-30th - DAMASCUS (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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