BAGHDAD, (Reuters) – Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will travel to Syria on Sunday to discuss security, an aide said on Friday, and is expected to ask Damascus to control its borders and stop insurgents moving into Iraq.
It will be the first visit for Talabani since the two countries resumed diplomatic ties last month after more than two decades of boycott after Syria sided with Iran during the Iraq-Iran war in 1980s.
“It is not clear how long he will stay there,” said Hiwa Othman, Talabani’s media adviser, confirming a trip that Talabani had said on Wednesday would take place soon.
Washington has accused Syria of allowing weapons and fighters to cross its border into Iraq in support of the anti-U.S. insurgency there. Syrian officials deny involvement.
Talabani, who spent years in exile in Damascus while opposing Saddam Hussein, said this week that he would urge the Syrians to “prevent the infiltration of terrorists” into Iraq.