Syria's health minister accused Washington of not doing enough to help Iraqi refugees, at the start of a two-day conference in Damascus, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Syrian, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Iraqi delegations are taking part in the conference, as well as United Nations and WHO representatives.
Since the US-led invasion of 2003, about 2.2 million Iraqis have fled the war in their country, with Syria hosting the lion's share of 1.4 million displaced people, followed by Jordan with 750,000 refugees.
Health minister Maher Hussami told delegates that Syria would "continue to offer the necessary services to the refugees, despite the difficulties."
He charged that "the country occupying Iraq, and which is behind the difficult situation has not been contributing to remedy it," in reference to the United States.
The international community was dragging its feet "in providing aid to the Iraqis in the neighboring countries," the Syrian health minister added.
"Their number is rising each day. They are fleeing the insecurity generated by the American occupation of Iraq."
WHO director for the Middle East Hussein Abdel Razzak Jazaeri agreed that Iraq's neighbors were bearing "a heavy burden on their education, health, and housing infrastructures."
Iraq's minister for emigrants and the displaced, Abdel Samad Rahman Sultan, said Baghdad was ready "to deliver all possible assistance to the countries receiving Iraqis."
Earlier this month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees doubled to $123 million its annual appeal for funding to help boost medical care, shelter, and other support for Iraqis.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Temmuz 2007, 12:33