Syria to require visas for Iraqis as of early next month

Syria, home to more than a million Iraqi refugees, has decided to require visas for Iraqis entering the country for economic, trade and educational purposes, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said Thursday. The new rules take effect Sept. 10, the ministry said on its Web site. Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari was informed about the Syrian decision by his counterpart Walid Moallem in a telephone conversation Thursday, the ministry said. The Syria move is seen as an attempt by the Arab state to reduce the flow of more than 30,000 Iraqi refugees every month.