Historic meeting between President Assad and PA leaders
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad met on Monday PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei and Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath in the first official Palestinian visit to Damascus since 1996. Talks during the meeting dealt with the situation in the occupied Palestinian lands and the underway preparations for the Palestinian elections.
According to SANA, "President Assad stressed Syria’s support to the Palestinian people’s resistance and national unity in the face of the forthcoming requirements."
For his part, Abbas underlined importance of the Syrian-Palestinian coordination and consultation in the face of the current challenges.
In a joint press conference following their meeting, Abbas expressed pleasure over his visit to Syria and meeting President Assad, adding that talks between dealt with many issues of common concern. He also asserted importance of coordination and consultation between the two sides as soon as possible to deal with issues of common interest in the region, pointing out to the importance of the national dialogue among the Palestinian factions.
Qurei said that the most important result that could stem from this visit is reaching a serious, clear and frank coordination between the Syrian and the Palestinian sides. He also pointed out to the importance of coordination among the Palestinians, Syrians, Jordanians, Lebanese and the other Arabs since all sides seek a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict .
Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Nabil Shaath underlined the need "to continue consultations and coordination with Syria," particularly regarding the peace process, SANA quoted him as saying.
In a statement to reporters , Shaath said relations with Syria will witness a "remarkable improvement" in all areas related to the peace process, bilateral relations and consultation which lead to a positive coordination.
The Palestinian officials also held talks with Syria's Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara. "Both sides agreed on mechanisms of consultation and coordination during the forthcoming stage, particularly regarding the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace in the region," it was reported.
Shara said peace negotiations are based on the international legitimacy resolutions and ending the occupation. He pointed out to the importance of the Palestinian national dialogue, asserting that coordination among the Syrians, Palestinians and the Lebanese is a demand for all Arab states and the peace process.
"Consultation and viewpoints are the first step to be followed by coordination if certain mechanisms are used well in the interest of the central issue that all of us seek to preserve," Shara added.