Burns: Syria not cooperating with US
Washington's top Middle East diplomat said Syria has failed to fulfill commitments to the United States to help rein in Palestinian groups, according to an interview published Wednesday.
In remarks published by the Lebanese daily As-Safir, William Burns accused Damascus of not cooperating with demands laid out in the course of a visit last month by US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
"Until now we have not seen enough changes that allow us to say the Syrian regime is taking into account strategic developments in the region," Burns was quoted as saying in an allusion to the US-led ouster of Saddam Hussein.
"We don't understand how Syria can say it supports the peace process while continuing to openly support terrorist organizations that try with every means to destroy it," said Burns, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.
During a May visit, Powell pressed the Syrian leadership to shut down the offices of Palestinian groups in Damascus opposed to the peace process as well as to cut support to Lebanon's Hezbollah movement.
"Mr. Powell had however clearly explained the strategic situation and that Syria should take it into account," Burns told the daily.
"We don't understand their attitude towards the offices of terrorist groups in Syria, nor the arms shipments to Hizbullah," he added. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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