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Top US official discusses Syria with leaders of Iraq

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama's deputy national security advisor was in Baghdad this week for talks with Iraqi leaders on issues including the spillover from the unrest in Syria, the White House said Wednesday.

Dennis McDonough met Monday with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, the speaker of Iraq's parliament as well other top officials, said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

“In all of his meetings with Iraq's leaders, Mr. McDonough discussed Syria, with a particular focus on ensuring that violence from Syria does not degrade Iraq's domestic security,” the statement read.

For months Washington has been pressing Baghdad to prevent Iran from sending weapons through Iraq to the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

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