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Syria, Iraq Attempt to Warm Relations

Iraqi and Syrian officials are indicating a thaw in relations between the two countries, following meetings in Damascus Tuesday.

A senior member of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party, Abdul Hamid al-Zuhairi, said some Iraqi politicians had previously made anti-Syria statements, but he said that has come to an end. He commented after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, Syria's state-run SANA news agency says Mr. Assad stressed his country's desire to establish the best relations possible with Iraq. The news agency says the Syrian leader commented during a meeting with a delegation from Iraq's State of Law coalition.

SANA says the two sides discussed issues that include Iraq's efforts to form a new government and strengthening Iraq's security and stability.

Relations between the neighboring countries soured last year after Iraq accused Syria of harboring militants behind a series of bombings in Baghdad that killed more than 100 people.

Iraq withdrew its ambassador from Syria. Syria recalled its envoy from Baghdad and demanded Iraq prove the allegation.

The countries have since been making efforts to restore relations.

Iraq has been unable to form a new government, following inconclusive elections in March.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP.