Syria, Iraq endeavor to improve bilateral co-op

By Xinhua

Damascus : Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Naji Ottri on Sunday discussed with visiting Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Ahmed Saleh means to develop bilateral cooperation in all fields to benefit their mutual interests, the official SANA news agency reported.

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Ottri stressed the importance to carry out signed agreements and ink new ones to improve bilateral relations in the fields of energy, petroleum, gas, electricity, irrigation, transport, and trade exchange.

He also reasserted Syria’s commitment to establishing security and stability in Iraq and achieving national reconciliation among the Iraqi people to preserve the integrity of Iraq’s land and people and its Arab identity.

Ottri also noted the contribution of Syrian companies in rebuilding infrastructure and public utilities in the war-torn country.

For his part, Saleh expressed the Iraqi government’s desire to improve bilateral relations in various fields, praising Syria’s stances of supporting Iraq’s security and stability and reconciliation among its people.

Saleh, currently on a three-day official visit here, also held talks with his Syrian counterpart Abdullah al-Dardari on Saturday.

The two discussed means to revive signed agreements in the field of transport, including re-running joint companies of land transport and developing Syria’s Tartus port in the Mediterranean to convey goods to Iraq.

They also discussed the necessity of re-operating the pipeline between Kirkuk in Iraq’s northern oil fields and Syria’s Banias, another Mediterranean port city.

The establishment of a new line, linking the Iraqi gas line with the Arab gas project and drawing gas from the Iraqi field of Ekas to the refinery to be set up in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzour, were also involved.

Saleh is the second senior Iraqi official that visited Syria in a week. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari wrapped up a trip here on Wednesday.