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Latest Mesopotamia Stories

2006-02-07 21:13:48

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The United States is urging Iraqi officials to create a roadmap for developing its vast oil reserves, as one of the first steps to attracting foreign investment, a U.S. official said on Tuesday. The United States wants Iraq to come up with a model that spells out the legal and regulatory framework that foreign oil companies would work within, said Paul Simons, the U.S. state department deputy assistant secretary for Energy and Sanctions. Such a model would...

2006-02-03 06:19:46

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria will restore full diplomatic ties with Iraq once its neighbor forms a government, the state news agency quoted Syria's foreign minister as saying. "There will be an exchange of ambassadors between Damascus and Baghdad and an exchange of delegations...for collaboration in politics, security, economics and business," the SANA agency quoted Farouk al-Shara as saying late on Thursday. Syria was among the most vocal opponents of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in...

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2005-12-16 22:48:01

CHICAGO (AP) - An excavation project on the Syrian-Iraqi border has uncovered an ancient settlement wiped out by invaders 5,500 years ago. Discovered in northeastern Syria, the ruined city of Hamoukar appears to have been a large city by 4,500 B.C., said archaeologists Clemens Reichel and Salam al-Quntar, who co-directed Syrian-American excavations on the site. Reichel, a research associate at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and al-Quntar, of the Syrian Department of...

2005-12-12 11:53:16

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A U.N. inquiry said on Monday Syrian cooperation with its investigation into the killing of a former Lebanese prime minister was slow and called on Damascus to arrest Syrian suspects. "Given that its substantive lines of enquiry are far from being completed, and given the slow pace with which the Syrian authorities are beginning to discharge their commitments ... the commission recommends that there be such an extension and for a minimum period of six months," it...

2005-12-10 16:20:42

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush, echoing a call made a month earlier, urged Syria on Saturday to immediately release opposition activist Kamal al-Labwani and at least eight other prisoners. In a written statement, White House spokesman Scott McClellan accused Syria of denying opposition activists "the fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression," and called for the harassment to end. Labwani was arrested by Syrian authorities in Damascus on November 8...

2005-12-07 17:31:28

By Suleiman al-Khalidi DAMASCUS (Reuters) - On a main square in the Syrian capital's commercial center, a laborer pastes up a poster showing a blue-and-red can and the words "Pepsi now in Syria." The U.S. soft drink giant recently got a license to sell locally manufactured Pepsi in Syria -- another sign of changing times in a socialist-style economy where foreign franchises were once banned and long ignored. "Customers are ... asking for Pepsi thinking it's the best. They are...

2005-11-17 08:55:05

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria is questioning several passengers who attempted to board a Gulf Air flight to Bahrain this week with a dismantled weapon concealed in their luggage, official and aviation sources said on Thursday. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said earlier on Thursday four Australian women of Iraqi origin had been detained in Syria after a dismantled handgun was discovered as they tried to board the plane in Damascus. A Syrian official refused to say if the...

2005-11-16 17:26:18

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Four Australian women have been detained in Syria after a dismantled hand gun was found inside a child's toy as they tried to board a plane in Damascus, Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) radio reported on Thursday. Quoting a Syrian police source and diplomatic source, the ABC reported that the women of Iraqi origin were traveling to Australia via a stopover in the Persian Gulf and were accompanied by a young child. "The authorities in Syria now, according to...

2005-11-13 14:49:34

CAIRO (Reuters) - Nearly all of the suicide bombers who have carried out attacks in Iraq have been Arabs who crossed into the country from Syria, Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said on Sunday. Most of the suicide bombers were Saudi citizens, Rubaie added. U.S, British and Iraqi officials have demanded Syria do more to stem the flow of foreign fighters crossing its border into Iraq and close training camps on its soil. "We do not have the least doubt that nine...

2005-11-13 10:09:37

CAIRO (Reuters) - Nearly all of the suicide bombers who have carried out attacks in Iraq have been Arabs who crossed into the country from Syria, Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said on Sunday. Most of the suicide bombers were Saudi citizens, Rubaie added. U.S, British and Iraqi officials have demanded Syria do more to stem the flow of foreign fighters crossing its border into Iraq and close training camps on its soil. "We do not have the least doubt that nine...