- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DAMASCUS, Syria, Sept. 16 (UPI) — The newly appointed Syrian ambassador to Iraq was sworn in Tuesday before President Bashar Assad, the first Syrian diplomatic post to Baghdad since 1982.

Nawaf Abboud al-Sheik Faris took the oath for the ambassador to Iraq at al-Rawdha presidential palace in Damascus, the official Syrian News Agency said.

Faris previously served as the governor of the southeastern province of Quneitra prior to his appointment.

Lubaid Abbawi with the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said the move marks an important development in relations between both countries.

Syria and Iraq broke diplomatic ties in 1982 following riots in Damascus by members of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, which the Syrian government said was backed by Baghdad.

Formal diplomatic ties were restored in 2006.

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