Iraq's neighbors hold a conference to discuss security cooperation

The US is encouraging Iraq's neighbors to increase cooperation by carrying out joint training exercises, the top US official in Syria, Charge d'Affaires Maura Connelly, said Sunday. "Militant groups that were driven out of Iraq continue to receive weapons, training, funding and guidance from abroad," Connelly said. "We encourage participants to bolster cooperation by initiating joint training exercises to improve information sharing and coordination," she added. The conference of Iraq's neighboring countries to discuss security issues in Syria comes few days before Iraq's parliament will vote on a proposed pact that would allow American troops to stay in Iraq for three more years.