Syria and Iraq have decided to restore full diplomatic relations after a break of nearly a quarter of a century. The Syrian foreign minister signed the deal with his Iraqi counterpart, agreeing to reopen their embassies in Damascus and Baghdad. Iraq hopes the move will put an end to what it claims has been Syria’s unwillingness to halt the flow of Islamist fighters and weapons across its border.
Damascus has always denied the charges, saying shutting off the border is impossible and Iraq must do more to patrol its side. The new deal is said to include agreement that US- led forces should stay in Iraq until they are no longer needed. Damascus and Baghdad cut ties when Syria sided with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.