Iraqi officials explain Talibani's visit to Syria

Top Iraqi officials discussed their country's relations with neighboring Syria, saying ties with Damascus should help to stabilize this country following a recent visit there by President Jalal Talabani, his office said Sunday. The meeting of the Iraq's Political Council for National Security, that includes the top leaders in the country, was held to discuss Talabani's trip to Syria, a statement said. Talabani told the officials during Saturday's meeting that security was the main topic that he discussed with Syrian officials during this month's visit, the first by an Iraqi president in two decades to the western neighbor. Council members affirmed that "it is necessary to normalize, improve and strengthen relations between the two brotherly countries," the statement said. They also said both countries "should work to bring security and stability to Iraq.