MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. Syria is seeking to strengthen ties with Iraq in order to successfully eliminate the remaining hotbeds of terrorism in both countries, Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Sunday, according to SANA news agency.
The Syrian leader met with the Iraqi prime minister’s special envoy and national security adviser, Faleh Al Fayyad, in Damascus.
"Partnership between Damascus and Baghdad meets the interests of the Syrian and Iraqi peoples, defending their independence and sovereignty in the face of the plans of hostile forces aimed at splitting the Middle East and bringing anarchy," Assad stressed.
According to Assad, "no matter how great the challenges are, it’s up to the peoples inhabiting the region to decide on its fate".
Al Fayyad noted that Syria’s strengthening positions and its victories over terrorism meet Iraq’s interests. "In their turn, Iraqi military successes contribute to stability in Syria," he said.
Assad and the Iraqi envoy called for "eliminating as soon as possible all obstacles on the track of developing bilateral relations, which are created by external sides."
On March 18, Iraqi Chief of Staff General Othman Al-Ghanimi visited Damascus. Speaking at a news conference, he announced that soon a border crossing would be opened between Iraq and Syria, boosting bilateral trade.