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Saturday, April 30, 2005 

Syria and Iraq restore diplomatic ties

After a break of 20 years, Syria and Iraq have agreed to restore relations.

They'll re-open communication channels between their governments and open embassies in each other's capitals. A Syrian ambassador will soon be sent to Baghdad, and an Iraqi will move to Damascus.

Ties were broken during Saddam Hussein's war with Iran in the 1980s, which Syria opposed.

Just two months ago, George Bush withdrew his ambassador to Damascus to imply that Washington suspected Syria was behind the killing of Rafiq Al-Hariri.

Syria's Foreign Minister Farouq Ash-Sharaa said he will support Iraq "so that it can play its full role in the Arab and international arenas". Previously Syria had refused to recognise the interim Iraqi regimes.

The decision came at a meeting between Iraq and their neighbours.

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