UK warns Syria not to help Saddam's people | india | Hindustan Times
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UK warns Syria not to help Saddam's people

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned Syria on Thursday against helping what remains of Saddam Hussein's regime.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2003 19:16 IST

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned Syria on Thursday against helping what remains of Saddam Hussein's regime and urged the country to cooperate with US-led forces in Iraq.

Straw told the House of Commons that he was sending foreign office minister Mike O'Brien to Syria and Iran to discuss their role in Iraq's post-war reconstruction.

But he added: "We look to Syria to end any and all assistance to the Iraqi regime and to cooperate fully with the people of Iraq and with the coalition forces."

Well before the Iraq war began on March 20, Prime Minister Tony Blair's government was reaching out diplomatically to Syria and to Iran despite their pariah status with the Bush administration.

At a press conference in Washington on Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld alleged that senior Iraqi leaders were fleeing to Syria, and that Damascus was continuing to send military assistance into Iraq.

But in an interview on Thursday in the Los Angeles Times newspaper, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said US warnings to Syria and Iran should not be interpreted as threats of war.