Damascus, Asharq Al-Awsat – A Syrian government official flatly rejected Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari” allegations that Damascus lacked the political will to secure its border with Iraq. He reaffirmed his government’s concern for security in Iraq as it affected it was also affected by a rise in violence.
Speaking exclusively to Asharq al Awsat, the source said, “The Iraqi government continues to accuse Syria without substantiating its claims, despite Damascus demanding proof.” He added, “Foreign Minister Zebari”s latest statements on the absence of cooperation between our two countries on the security level, because of Syrian unwillingness to act, are totally unacceptable. Border control and security are paramount for Damascus as t he government believes that violence in Iraq carries negative repercussions for the region and Syria in particular.”
Commenting on the lack of evidence submitted by the Iraqi side, the source added, “Syria has become accustomed to hearing insurgents were slipping into Iraq through the common border and the Iraqi government has repeatedly confirmed these allegations. Baghdad has yet to provide us with concrete proof and to discuss the problem with the Syrian government.”
He continued, “Damascus sent an official delegation to discuss security concerns and diplomatic issues with Iraqi officials. The visiting delegates asked their Iraqi counterparts to prove their allegations but no evidence was submitted.”