Diplomatic relations between Syria and Iraq, which were severed 24 years ago, were restored Tuesday, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said. "The latest talks between the Syrian and Iraqi side have been crowned by declaring a new era with the participation of the Syrian brothers in working on the security and stability with Iraq and restoring full diplomatic relations," al-Dabbagh told The Associated Press. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem arrived in Iraq on Sunday in the first such visit by a senior Syrian official since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. He was expected to return home later Tuesday. Syria broke diplomatic ties with Iraq in 1982, accusing it of inciting riots in Syria by the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Damascus also sided with Iran in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Trade ties between Iraq and Syria were restored in 1997.