URGENT.. Foreign Minister arrives in Damascus for official visit

BAGHDAD, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus on an official visit during which he will meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari arrived in the Syrian capital Damascus on a two-day official visit during which he will meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and senior Syrian officials," a Foreign Ministry statement said.

President Barham Salih received a written message from his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad.

A presidential statement said on Thursday that the President of the Republic received at the Peace Palace in Baghdad, the Syrian Ambassador Sattam Jadaan Dandah, who handed President Saleh a written message from his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, congratulating him on taking the post of President of the Republic.

Saleh stressed "the depth of relations between Iraq and Syria, especially historical and social ties between them, and the need to strengthen them in the interest of the two brotherly peoples.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency