Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Iraq's policy of non-interference in Syria and opposition to arming either side is in the country's best interest, in an interview with Kurdish newspaper Awena.
Thousands of people have been killed in a crackdown by President Bashar Assad's regime on a 13-month uprising against his rule but Iraq has strongly opposed proposals from Gulf states, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, to arm rebel fighters.
"Our policy is not to interfere in the internal affairs (of Syria) and to oppose violence and everything that fuels it, from arming to provocation," Maliki said in the interview to be published on Tuesday, excerpts of which were released in advance.
"We found that this policy is the best to preserve our interests," Maliki said, adding: "We should not be tempted by some passing developments to leave this policy, and to lean towards one side or the other."
Maliki said that Iraq wants a solution in Syria that prevents further bloodshed.
"Iraq gathered all its political and diplomatic capabilities to reach a political solution in Syria that achieves the legitimate goals of the Syrian people and prevents shedding more blood and wars in Syria and the region," he said.
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