Iraqi President Talabani in Baghdad in September (file photo) (epa)
January 14, 2007 -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani arrived in Damascus today for talks with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad to discuss security and trade issues.
Iraqi officials say Talabani will ask al-Assad to make a greater effort in preventing insurgents to cross the border into Iraq.
Talabani's office says the Iraqi delegation includes Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, Trade Minister Abd al-Falah al-Sudani, Water Resources Minister Abd al-Latif Rashid, National Security Adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, and lawmakers.
Iraq and Syria restored diplomatic ties last year after 26 years of no official relations because of Syria's support for Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, which began in 1980. Talabani's trip to Damascus is the first by an Iraqi president since 1979.