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Iraqi Foreign Minister: Syria Not Doing Enough

Hoshyar al-Zebari (file photo) Washington, 2 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar al-Zebari has criticized Syria for failing to do enough to prevent insurgents from crossing the Iraqi-Syrian border to launch attacks inside Iraq.

Al-Zebari, speaking after talks in Washington yesterday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said, "We have recevied [from Syria] some assurances to the effect that there would be some positive change in their [the Syrians') attitude, in their dealing, but practically, we haven't seen much. Really, they have not been as cooperative as we want them to be."

Al-Zebari also appealed to the United States and its allies to remain committed to helping Iraq for at least the next few months as the Iraqi government builds its security forces and Iraqis write a constitution.

Al-Zebari offered assurances that all Iraqi communities, including the Sunni Arab minority, would participate in the constitutional process. Sunnis have been left with minimal representation in Iraqi politics because many of the community boycotted the 30 January elections.

Rice said she was "comfortable" with the commitment of the Iraqi government to involve Sunnis in the writing of the constitution.

(Reuters/AP/AFP, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq)