Bush: Syria ''getting the message''
President Bush said Sunday that Syria is "getting the message" that it should not cooperate with the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein but should help the United States capture fleeing Iraqi leaders.
The president lowered recently intense rhetoric against Iraq's neighbor to the west.
Syria had denied taking in senior Iraqis or providing other aid. "I'm confident the Syrian government has heard us," Bush said after attending Easter church services at this Army base near his central Texas ranch. "I believe it when they say they want to cooperate with us."
Syrian President Bashar Assad told two U.S. congressmen Sunday that the country will not give asylum to Iraqis wanted for war crimes and will expel any Iraqi who crosses the border, media reports said.
Bush said U.S. officials will pass on to the Syrians information on people who have crossed over the border and "fully expect the Syrian government to hand the person over." He said other countries, which he did not specify, have helped press the U.S. message with the Syrians.
"There's some positive signs," Bush said. "They're getting the message that they should not harbor Baath Party officials, high ranking Iraqi officials."
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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