Turkish prime minister and Assad discuss Mideast

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his host, Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday discussed the situation in Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflict, as part of Ankara's efforts to play a greater role in the Middle East. The two leaders also discussed "friendship and cooperation, especially in the economic and trade fields," between their nations, Syria's official news agency SANA said. Assad welcomed Turkey's "continued work for peace" in the region and also stressed Syria's commitment to Mideast peace, SANA said. Turkey enjoys friendly, but occasionally tense, relations with Israel.