Syria: Washington should not intervene in Saudi king visit
The Syrian government on Thursday advised the United States not to intervene in a visit by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz to Damascus and said the two countries "know more" about ways to achieve stability in the Middle East. King Abdullah arrived in the Syrian capital for talks with President Bashar al-Assad before going together to Beirut on Friday in a bid to ease the tension on the Special Lebanon Tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005.
The Syrian Arab news agency (SANA), reported that president Assad has personally greeted the Saudi monarch at Damascus airport in in a break with protocol, which reflects the importance of the visit.
On Wednesday, Philip Crowley, an official at the U.S. State Department said Washington hoped that Syria would play a constructive role in the region and respond to the concerns of the Saudi monarch over Iran's threats to the stability of the Middle East.
On Thursday, the statement by the Syrian Foreign Ministry said "the USA was not entitled to determine our relations with the countries of the region. It added Washington was not allowed to interfere with the content of the talks, which will take place during the Saudi monarch's visit to Damascus.
The statement added, "Syria and Saudi Arabia are independent countries who belong to this region and know more about the interests of the peoples in the region."