Iraq: Arming Syrian opposition threatens stability

Updated: 2013-06-03 17:33


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BAGHDAD - The Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki said on Monday that Iraq is worried about the EU decision of arming the Syrian opposition, stressing that such move would jeopardize Iraq's stability.

"Iraq sees that such decision by some European countries has a direct impact on the security and stability of Iraq," Maliki said in his answer to media questions on his office website.

He said that such weapons "would leak to Iraq because of the relations between the extremists and the terrorists in al-Nusra Front and al-Qaida group in Iraq, as well as militant groups on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border."

"Iraq's position was always with a political solution and not a military or security solutions of the Syrian crisis, and opposed sending weapons to the parties of the conflict," Maliki said.

Late in May, the EU decided to lift arms embargo on Syria's opposition after France and Britain threw all their weight behind the ban-lift during marathon negotiations in Brussels.

Iraq's Shiite-dominated government has maintained close ties with Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad is a member of Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.