DAMASCUS, Aug 8 (KUNA) -- Up to 2,760 non-Iraqis are locked up in Iraqi
jails, among them 800 Iranians, the Iraqi delegation to an international
security meeting in Damascus revealed on Wednesday. The rest include Arabs and
The statement was made during a closed evening session that focused on
activating security collaboration among Iraq's neighbors to protect the Iraqi
borders against foreign infiltration by insurgents into the country.
"Among the detainees are Arabs and others from Afghanistan and Iran, the
latter's citizens entered Iraq claiming they would visit religious shrines,"
an informed source told the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) following by the end of
the first day discussions. There are others detained by the coalition.
The source added that the participant delegations had asked the Iraqis to
provide them with the names of their nationals detained in Iraq so that they
could "take the necessary measures."
As for the absence of Saudi Arabia from the Damascus security meeting on
Iraq, the source said Riyadh was of the view that such an expert meeting would
"rob the Arab Ministers of Interior Council of its domain." The Council is due
to meet in Kuwait in October.
"We respect the Saudi view but the (Damascus) meetings do not make
decisions but recommendations to be referred to the concerned Ministers of
Interior," the source noted.
On the expected recommendations, the source said that it would be topped
with controlling terrorists' moves across the Iraq's borders with neighbor
countries. They will also emphasize the necessity of exchanging information
among these countries on the detainees and the terrorist elements apprehended
The countries taking part in the meetings are Kuwait, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain,
Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt together with an Arab League delegation,
ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and the
US Charge d'affaires in Damascus as an observer. (pickup previous)
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