Iraq not to take sides in Syrian crisis: Iraqi PMSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 09/10/2012 8:38 am in World / 1 comment
MOSCOW, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) — Visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in Moscow Monday that Iraq would not take sides in the mounting Syrian crisis.
While maintaining close relations with Russia, the Arab League and the former UN-AL special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, Baghdad supported neither the Syrian government nor the opposition groups, Maliki told local media.
In stead, Iraq supported “efforts aimed at resolving the problem peacefully, but not taking the government’s side against the people,” Interfax news agency quoted Maliki as saying.
Meanwhile, Iraq opposed outside military intervention into Syria’s domestic affairs, said the Prime Minister, adding he worried the crisis could spread to the entire region.
In a lecture delivered at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maliki expressed his willingness to strengthen economic and military ties with Russia.
Maliki arrived in Russia on Monday for a working visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin press service reported.
Putin and Maliki would meet Wednesday on further promoting bilateral cooperation in political, trade and economic, and humanitarian areas, according to the Kremlin.