Iraq, Syria agree to reopen key oil pipeline

Iraqi and Syrian oil ministers agreed on Wednesday to repair and subsequently reopen a key pipeline between their two countries that connects Iraq's oil-rich Kirkuk region and a Syrian port. The agreement between Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani and his Syrian counterpart Sufian Allaw came at the end of a three-day visit here by a top Iraqi delegation, headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Shahristani said in talks with Allaw that Baghdad was willing to renew oil exports from this pipeline, but that his country's precarious security situation stood in the way of reopening the heavily damaged pipeline. No timeline or details on how the repairs would be carried out were available.