Iraq's deputy PM urges Syria to use its influence on Iraqis

Iraq's deputy premier signed trade and security agreements with Syria Monday and urged Damascus to use its influence to convince Iraqi rebel groups to rejoin the political process. Barham Saleh said at a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Abdullah Dardari at the end of a three day trip, that he had asked Damascus for help with opposition groups based here. "They have their headquarters in Syria and activities opposing the political process in Iraq, we talked of the necessity to capitalize on the Syrian influence with these groups to make them enter the political process," he said. Saleh did acknowledge Syrian help in dealing with fighters moving illegally across the border and credited the recent drop in violence in Iraq to not only improvement in Iraqi forces, but also increased security cooperation with Syria.