Aide: Bishara Traveled to Damascus to Help Prepare for Arafat-Assad Meeting
An aide to Israeli Arab MK, Azmi Bishara said Sunday that his current visit to Damascus is to help prepare for a scheduled trip by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to Syria at the end of the month for talks with President Bashar Assad, reported Haaretz newspaper, citing Israel Radio.
But the paper, citing the London-based Al Hayat newspaper, said that the scheduled meeting has been postponed.
“Apparently, neither side is enthusiastic about the meeting,” said Haaretz.
“Syria is displeased that the PA has stopped its mortar fire, and both Arafat’s deputy, Abu Mazen, and the chairman of the Palestinian parliament, Ahmed Qorei, are said to oppose moving closer to Syria,” it added.
Bishara arrived in Damascus on Thursday for a series of meeting with Syrian and Palestinian officials.
AFP said that he met with Foreign Minister Farouq Shara “on events in the region.”
The meeting took place late Friday to discuss "the developments in the region and the bloody events in the occupied Palestinian territories," said the Syrian press.
Meanwhile, Khaled al-Fahum, former head of the Palestinian National Council, told AFP that Bishara also met with George Habash, founder of the Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), AFP added.
"Azmi Bishara is an Arab nationalist member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament). He is keeping us up to date with what is going on there," said Fahum, who heads the National Palestinian Salvation Front, a pro-Syrian coalition opposed to Arafat.
Meanwhile, Likud Knesset Member, Ze’ev Boim, called to put Bishara on trial on his return for “subverting the state’s existence,” Israel Radio reported, cited by Haaretz.
Bishara, head of the left-wing Israeli Arab party Balad, has visited Syria several times.
In November, he met with the Syrian President and condemned the "bloody events in Palestine,” said AFP – Albawaba.com
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