Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Sunday that his country will not be a launch pad for strikes on neighboring Syria and stressed the stance of finding a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.
"Iraq will not be a launch pad to any aggression against Syria, and we will not provide any facilities in this respect and we are working with some states to apply a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis," Zebari told reporters at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Javad Zarif.
"We have discussed in details the regional situations and the developments of the Syrian crisis, and we talked about the recent deliberations on different levels such as the UN Security Council, the Arab League and other regional organizations to avoid a war in the region," Zebari said.
For his part, Zarif said that U.S. President Barack Obama "has entered the trap of war on Syria -- pushed by some parties -- and we wish him to come out of the trap for the interests of himself and for the region as well."
"Those who are short-sighted are beating the drums of war and are setting a fire that will burn everyone in the region," Zarif said.
Commenting on a possible strike on Syria, Zarif said "I do not know why those who say all options are on the table do not understand the fact that civilized countries 65 years ago rejected in the charter of the UN the resort to force as an illegal practice."
Earlier in the day, Zarif arrived in Iraq on an official visit and was received by Zebari at Baghdad airport.
In a statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office, the two "discussed the bilateral relations and called for further cooperation to confront the challenges in the region, in particular waves of extremism, terrorism and sectarian incitement. "
The statement also quoted Zarif as saying that "Iran's foreign policy in the next stage is to promote bilateral relations with Iraq in all fields."
Zarif is also expected to meet with Parliament Speaker Osama al- Nijaifi, Vice President Khudair al-Khuzaie and some religious figures in Iraq.
Relations between the Shiite Muslim country of Iran and the Shiite-dominated government of Iraq have picked up considerably since Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated regime was ousted in a U.S.- led invasion in 2003.
Iraq and Iran fought a bloody eight-year war in 1980s, resulting in the loss of one million lives.
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