Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has held talks with senior Syrian officials in Damascus, his first trip to the country since taking office last year.
Nouri Maliki is in Damascus at a time when he is under pressure at home
Mr Maliki and Syrian PM Naji al-Otari discussed Iraq's security situation and the plight of Iraqi refugees, almost two million of whom live in Syria.
Mr Maliki will be meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, Mr Maliki went to Iran. Both Iran and Syria have been accused by the US of supporting Iraqi militias.
Mr Maliki's three-day visit highlights the growing diplomatic ties between the two neighbouring countries.
Relations were only restored between Syria and Iraq last year after a period of almost 25 years.
For decades, the two countries promoted rival versions of Baathism - an Arab nationalism - and Syria sided with Iran in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war.
A rapprochement was sealed in January with the visit of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to Damascus.
Mr Maliki is being accompanied by his ministers of oil, trade, the interior and water resources.
He is scheduled to meet Syrian Vice-President Farouq Shara and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.
The prime minister has faced political problems domestically due to walk-outs staged by a number of political blocs including the main Sunni group.
He is also thought to be under growing pressure from Washington because of the lack of political progress despite the fact that US troops have stepped up operations to quell sectarian violence.