Pakistan\'s Military Ruler to Visit Syria
Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf is due in Damascus on Sunday for talks on the two countries' relations and the Middle East peace process, a Pakistani diplomat in damascus said.
Musharraf, accompanied by his Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, will meet with Syrian officials including President Bashar al-Assad, the diplomat said.
The trip was confirmed by the Syrian government.
The diplomat said Musharraf's trip would seek to boost "traditionally very good" relations between the countries and offer Pakistani support for Syria's hardline against Israel.
"We fully support Syria's position on a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and its full recovery of the Golan," occupied by Israel since 1967, the diplomat said.
He said Damascus and Islamabad were also looking to boost trade cooperation and that Pakistan would soon open an IT training center in Damascus, set up in cooperation with Syria's education ministry.
It is Musharraf's first visit to Syria since he seized power in a 1999 coup. Several earlier Pakistani leaders have visited Damascus, including Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister whom Musharraf toppled.
After Syria the general will go on to Jordan, the diplomat said -- DAMASCUS (AFP)
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