Iraq warns of Syrian crisis' consequences
Baghdad: Iraq has warned of Syrian crisis' consequences, pointing to a potential spill over effect for other countries in the Middle East.
"It is a main concern for us that the crisis might spill over into the neighbouring countries, as no country is immune to such a spill over because of the composition of the societies in these countries...," Xinhua quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying.
He was speaking to reporters on Saturday at a news conference held jointly with visiting Swedish, Bulgarian and Polish foreign ministers.
Zebari said the shooting down of a Turkish warplane over the eastern Mediterranean on Friday was a "serious escalation" that might have a worse impact on the region than on Syria itself.
"Iraq is concerned about the Syrian crisis, and its role cannot be bypassed in any decision aimed at solving the crisis. Any regional, Arab or international attempt to jump over its role will not succeed," he said.
The minister, however, reiterated 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 Shi’ite-dominated government has maintained close ties with Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.