”New page” in French - Syrian ties
Syrian Culture Minister Riad Naassan Agha is in Paris on an official visit, the first by a Syrian government member in three years, the French foreign ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said the visit, coming in the wake of a decision by President Nicolas Sarkozy to renew French relations with Syria, turned "a new page" in Franco-Syrian relations.
"This visit is part of a new page we hope will be turned and written in relations between France and Syria, insofar as recent positive evolutions continue," French foreign ministry spokeswoman Pascale Andreani, said, according to AFP.
Meanwhile, the US State Department reacted with caution on Monday when asked about plans by Sarkozy to renew ties with Syria, saying that Washington would discuss the issue with Paris. "France and the United States share the same wish for peace and stability in the region," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. "We both want to see a Lebanon that is peaceful, prosperous and free of foreign interference."
"We look forward to continuing discussions with France on how to best support the Lebanese people to achieve their goals for a better future," McCormack added.