Assad Concludes Brief Saudi Visit, Voices Satisfaction Over Saudi Views
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad backs Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's "ideas" to bring peace to the Middle East, the official SPA news agency reported after the Syrian leader ended a short trip to the kingdom.
"President Assad voiced his country's support for Crown Prince Abdullah's ideas aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive settlement in the region," SPA said, quoting an official Saudi source.
The Syrian News Agency (SANA) reported that “viewpoints were identical regarding all discussed issues and ideas where assertion was that the just and comprehensive peace in the region as the strategic option could never be realized but through the Israeli full withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories including from the Syrian Golan Heights to the line of June 4 1967, the liberation of the remaining occupied territories in South Lebanon, the establishment of an independent Palestinian State
with Jerusalem as its capital clinging the right of the refugees return in accordance with related UN resolutions.” “President Assad stressed that these basics are identical with the ideas presented by the Saudi Crown prince and voiced satisfaction
over the Saudi stance and its continued support for just Arab causes.”
Assad traveled to Jeddah Tuesday for talks aimed at ironing out "minor differences" over Riyadh's Middle East peace offer. Assad and Abdullah "underlined the necessity of setting up a Palestinian state with (east) Jerusalem as its capital," SPA reported earlier.
The meeting between the two leaders was attended by intelligence chief Prince Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on the Saudi side, and Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam and Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara on the Syrian side.
Assad had also held a meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Fahd shortly after flying into Jeddah.
Syria's foreign minister is to visit Tehran Wednesday for talks with President Mohammad Khatami on the escalating crisis in the Middle East, the presidential office said.
Iran has said it was "unaware" of the details of the Saudi initiative, but foreign minister Kamal Kharazi stressed Monday that any plan should include the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. (Albawaba.com)
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