DAMASCUS, Syria – Syria and Iraq's interior ministers on Saturday discussed ways of strengthening cooperation and coordination between their the two neighboring countries to combat terrorism and crime, Syria's official news agency said.
Syrian Interior Minister Bassam Abdul-Majid also talked about exchanging fugitives in coordination with the two countries' justice ministers with his visiting Iraqi counterpart, Jawad al-Boulani, SANA said.
The news agency said the two sides, who were expected to sign a memorandum of understanding in the coming days, agreed to form joint committees to coordinate the issues they discussed.
Abdul-Majid said Syria was keen on Iraq's unity and stability and was willing to back all efforts that would help bring security to the wartorn country, SANA reported. He stressed that Syria was doing all it can to help control its border with Iraq by increasing observation posts and patrols.
Boulani, who arrived in Damascus on Friday, said Iraq appreciated Syria's efforts and pledged that his country would never be "a launching pad for anything that threatens peace and stability in Syria."
Both the United States and Iraq have accused Syria of failing to take sufficient steps to stop militants from infiltrating into Iraq to join insurgents fighting the U.S.-led forces and Iraqi government troops.
Syria has repeatedly denied the charge, complaining that it cannot completely seal its border with Iraq.
The Iraqi minister's visit follows the recent resumption of diplomatic relations between Iraq and Syria after a rupture for more than 24 years.