Iraq ready to back peaceful solution for Syria's crisis: PM

Updated: 2012-06-24 22:46:00


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BAGHDAD, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki expressed Sunday his country's readiness to support international effort to find a solution for the Syrian crisis, asking to pursue non-intervention policy in the violence-shattered country.

In a statement by his office, Maliki stressed that from the beginning of Syria's crisis, Iraq "has called for a political solution and not security one for the situation in Syria."

"Iraq supports any international effort to find a peaceful solution to what Syria is suffering and to guarantee the legitimate objectives of the Syrian people, as well as to spare the country and the region further bloodshed and destruction," Maliki said when receiving in his office the visiting Swedish, Bulgarian and Polish foreign ministers.

Maliki also demanded working on non-intervention policy towards Syria's crisis, saying "such interventions would only increase complication in the situation in Syria, as well as shedding more blood."

For their part, the foreign ministers hailed the positive role of Iraq in the region and its capability to support finding peaceful and political solution for Syria's crisis, the statement said.

During the meeting, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that Iraq's experience over the past years will be of great help to push all of the Syrian parties to reach a solution.

Iraq itself, has suffered from violence and sectarian strife that engulfed the country during the past years after the U.S.-led invasion and was only partially quelled by the withdrawal of U.S. troops late last year from the country and efforts of national reconciliation.

Later in the day, the three European ministers flew to Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan to carry out further talks with the Kurdish leaders about the Syrian crisis.

On Saturday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met with the three ministers before they jointly held a news conference, during which Zebari warned of the consequences of the Syrian crisis, pointing to a potential spillover into other countries in the Middle East.

"It is a main concern for us that the crisis might spill over into the neighboring countries, as no country is immune to such a spillover because of the composition of the societies in these countries ..." Zebari said.

Zebari confirmed his country's long-standing take on the Syrian issue, namely "supporting the political and democratic change in Syria," as Iraq has always been supportive in the Syrian people's cause of gaining democracy and freedom.

Iraq's Shiite-dominated government has maintained close ties with Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.