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US, Iraq discuss concerns over arms shipments to Syria

Last Updated: Saturday, September 22, 2012 - 17:47

Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki discussed with US Vice President Joe Biden concerns over reports that Iran is using Iraq`s airspace to deliver arms shipments to Syria, the Iraqi government said on Saturday.

According to a statement issued by the Iraqi prime minister`s office, Maliki received a phone call from Biden Friday afternoon, in which "Maliki expressed discomfort of his government about stirring suspicions by some unofficial American circles over Iraq`` s stance towards the Syrian crisis."

Maliki reiterated his country`s "firm stance in rejecting any arming shipments or violent activities via the land and airspace of Iraq."

On the other side, a briefing on the call released on the US White House website said that Biden and Maliki "addressed issues of regional security, including the need to prevent any state from taking advantage of Iraq`s territory or air space to send weapons to Syria."

US officials and media reports have earlier said there are suspicions that Iranian aircraft are carrying weapons to Syria via Iraqi airspace, but Baghdad refused the allegations, saying that the Iranian flights are carrying humanitarian aid.

First Published: Saturday, September 22, 2012 - 17:45

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