The Presidents of Syria and Iraq met in Baghdad over the weekend (16-17 June) to approve a constitutional formula for the projected union between their two countries.
SV PULL BACK TO GV EXTERIOR Iraqi flag above palace
SV INTERIOR President Al-Bakr greeting President Assad who walk towards conference room
SV Flag bearer at entrance
SV President Assad, President Al Bakr and Vice President Saddam Hussein talking at conference table (2 shots)
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Background: The Presidents of Syria and Iraq met in Baghdad over the weekend (16-17 June) to approve a constitutional formula for the projected union between their two countries. The talks are apparently aimed at full union rather than a looser Federal or Con-federal joining.
SYNOPSIS: The original moves began after the Camp David summit meeting, which resulted in a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. Both Iraq and Syria were united in their bitter opposition to the agreement. President Al Bakr greeted his guest on Sunday at the start of six hours of private talks.
They were joined for some of the sessions by the Iraqi Vice President Saddam Hussein. The meeting were given increasing urgency because of deteriorating relations between Iraq and Iran. The State-controlled Iraqi press has accused Iran of trying to wreck the merger plans. The secrecy which has surrounded the talks has prompted conflicting reports about their progress. Jordanian sources reported that the two Presidents were still pursuing plans for a full merger but a Lebanese newspaper said Iraq favoured confederation as an interim step towards total unity. The most serious obstacle is uniting the rival wings of the Baath Party which rules the two countries.