Syria's Assad willing to cooperate with US on Iraq

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
BEIRUT, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Syria is ready to resume military and
intelligence cooperation with the United States on Iraq provided it goes
through a third party, but Washington has yet to respond, President Bashar
al-Assad said on Wednesday.
Syria, under increased U.S. pressure over Iraq, ended military and
intelligence cooperation with Washington in May due to "unfair" U.S.
accusations that Damascus was doing too little to stop foreign fighters from
entering neighbouring Iraq.
"There has been an attempt to resume cooperation, basically, through
mediation by some Arab and European states," Assad told CNN in an interview.

"We said we have no objection, as long as it goes through a third
party. Now, those Arab and non-Arab parties went to say that to the U.S.
side, to say: 'What do you want from Syria'. So far, no response," he added,
speaking through an interpreter.
The United States has repeatedly accused Syria of allowing
insurgents and suicide bombers across its border into Iraq.
U.S. President George W. Bush on Wednesday underscored warnings
given last month by Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad, who
said "patience was running out with Syria."
"We expect Syria to do everything in her power to shut down the
transshipment of suiciders and killers into Iraq," Bush told reporters.
Assad, however, said it was impossible to fully control the porous
frontier and blamed the United States for not helping Damascus to prevent
"We cannot control the border completely ... It is impossible,"
Assad said.
"We took many steps to control our border and we would like to
invite any delegation from the world or the United States to see the steps
we took and to look at the other side and see nothing. There is nobody on
the other side, American or Iraqi," he added.
Assad said intelligence cooperation with the United States had
stopped because the Bush administration had not eased its pressure on Syria,
and due to what he described as the U.S. security agencies' poor knowledge
of the region.
He said Syria was willing to help restore stability in Iraq.
"They talk about a stable Iraq, we have a direct interest in a
stable Iraq ... They talk about supporting the political process, we have
interest in that, for that will support stability," he said.
Assad, who came to power in 2000 following the death of his father
Hafez Assad, shrugged off claims the Bush administration was seeking to
replace him.
"I feel very confident for one reason because I was made in Syria,
not in the United States. So I am not worried," he said.