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Iraqi President Says Syria Backs Iraqi Stability

Four people were killed in this car-bomb blast in Baghdad today (epa) January 18, 2007 -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani today said Syria was taking action to prevent foreign fighters from crossing the border into Iraq.

In an interview with Reuters in Damascus, Talabani added that the Syrian president was supporting Iraqi stability.

"The position of President [Bashar] al-Assad is clear -- to support Iraq -- Iraqi independence, stability, and security," Talabani said. "President al-Assad responds to our requests and our intention of establishing security and stability in Iraq. If Iraqi-Syrian relations are enhanced, and if Syria leaves a positive mark on the Iraqi security and stability, all this will help us to facilitate the negotiations between Syria and the United States."

Washington has accused Syria of failing to stop militants from infiltrating from Syria to Iraq.

Syria's official media report that Talabani today held talks with leaders of Syria's ruling Ba'ath Party during which participants affirmed their aim to improve bilateral ties. They also talked about "efforts underway to bolster security and stability in Iraq."

Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah said today during talks with Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi that Iraqis should work together to restore security and stability.

A court statement quotes the king as saying the security situation in Iraq has reached a dangerous point. He said the situation demands that the Iraqi people set aside their differences and forge ahead on the path of rebuilding security and stability.

(compiled from agency reports)

On The Verge Of Civil War

On The Verge Of Civil War

The Imam Al-Mahdi Army on parade (epa)

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THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

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