Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has launched a scathing attack on "Baathist-protecting" Syria, the Beirut daily AN NAHAR reported Tuesday. Maliki said Iraq's "transformation into a free and democratic country" is a positive sign for Iraqis, but added that "it is scary for them," referring to Syria. Ties between Syria and Iraq massively deteriorated after "Black Wednesday" last month, which saw truck bombs go off near Iraq's finance and foreign ministries, killing around 100 people. Iraq blamed Syria for protecting the Baathists who carried out the attack, and demanded that an international tribunal be launched on the matter.
Maliki said, "We had always asked for positive ties with regional countries, but that didn't help. What we found out was that certain countries did nothing, despite having information on where the criminals train and how they move to Iraq and set up explosions." Baghdad has accused Syria of sheltering Iraqi Baathists and not extraditing them. Baathists of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's party and al-Qaeda have been accused by Iraq of meddling with Iraqi security, and after "Black Wednesday," Maliki called for a United Nations inquiry into Syria's involvement in Baathist and al-Qaeda attacks. Syria, however, has denied Iraqi accusations and called them "immoral." Hopes of reconciliation between Syria and Iraq are very few, as four-way meetings that were held in Cairo, Damascus, and New York between Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish officials as well as the Arab League did not bear fruit. Iraq says Syrian authorities refuse to cooperate with Iraqi security worries, and that Syria has no intention of solving the differences between the two countries.
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|Title Annotation:||Today's News Highlights|
|Publication:||The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)|
|Date:||Sep 29, 2009|
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