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Iraq says its security crucial to regional stability
08/08/2007

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis2 hours, 28 minutes ago

Iraq warned its neighbors on Wednesday they might become the next victims of terrorism if they failed to help stop militants and weapons entering the country.

The head of Iraqi Military Intelligence Hussein Kamal called on Arab countries, especially Syria and Saudi Arabia, to take measures, including tightening border controls, to stop the inflow of Jihadists into Iraq.

"Terrorism is going to spread to your territories because you are not helping enough. You need to support the elected government of Iraq and stop propaganda against it," Kamal told an international security meeting on Iraq in Damascus.

"Border agreements must be activated. Wanted people must be handed in. We want more help from our neighbors, especially Saudi Arabia and Syria, which have suffered from crimes linked to insecurity in Iraq," he said.

Syria is hosting the two-day meeting that opened on Wednesday at a government complex on the outskirts of the capital. The United States, Britain, Iran, the Arab league and Jordan are taking part.

Delegates said the first day's meetings concluded without agreeing on specific measures for security cooperation.

"Iraq raised some practical issues and hopefully these will be pursued tomorrow. The measure of success for this conference is agreeing on security mechanisms," one delegate said.

The conference is part of a wider push to ease Iraq's security crisis. In Tehran, Iran told Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki it was helping establish security in Iraq.

On Monday, Iranian, U.S. and Iraqi officials held the first meeting of a joint committee aimed at easing the crisis.

In Damascus, a diplomat familiar with the meeting said the Iraqi delegation had brought evidence of alleged movement of weapons and insurgents across the border with Syria.

"The Iraqis have chosen not to be confrontational. It is hard to see how Syria will not be damaged by the instability in Iraq," the diplomat said.

The Syrian delegation included Mohammad Mansoura, head of the Political Security intelligence branch. A 15-member Iranian delegation of intelligence officers and diplomats came from Tehran. The United States was represented by diplomats from its embassies in Damascus and Baghdad.

Washington says Syria is not doing enough to stop a flow of fighters crossing into Iraq. Syrian Interior Minister Bassam Abdel Majeed told the conference Syria had stepped up its efforts to secure the 360-km (225-mile) border with Iraq.

 

Iraq says its security crucial to regional stability -  Source


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