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Syria and Iraq Reportedly Will Try to End Split

November 11, 1987|From Times Wire Services

AMMAN, Jordan — Iraq and Syria agreed to seek an end to their long enmity, but Syria did not pledge to stop supporting non-Arab Iran in the seven-year-old Persian Gulf war, sources at the Arab League summit here said Tuesday.

Syria also said it would veto any attempt to readmit Egypt to the Arab League, which suspended Egypt's membership because of Cairo's 1979 peace treaty with Israel. That appeared to be Syrian President Hafez Assad's price for whatever contribution he makes to Arab pressure on Iran to accept a U.N. call for a cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq War, which began in September, 1980.

Akram Barakat, an official spokesman for the 21-nation summit, said Assad and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq made their pledge to reconcile at a meeting Monday night. King Hussein of Jordan was the host and other key Arab leaders attended.

Barakat said the meeting marked "a positive start to a new era of brotherly relations between Syria and Iraq."

"God willing, good news will emerge as a result of this reconciliation for the best interests of both peoples and for the benefit of the Arab nation as a whole," declared Barakat, who heads Jordan's information office in Washington.

Seek Common Stand on War

Summit delegates, who include 17 heads of state, spent their third day in closed session Tuesday trying without apparent success to reach a common stand on the war, which has endangered Persian Gulf shipping and other nations in the area.

Syria has answered criticism of its support for Iran--which though non-Arab is Muslim--by insisting that its influence in Tehran has helped keep the war from spreading to other countries.

Arab moderates led by King Hussein won a major victory by setting in motion a reconciliation between Iraq and Syria, which are governed by rival wings of the Baath Socialist Party.

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