PLO’s Abbas Urges Closer Cooperation with Syria
The secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, Mahmoud Abbas, called Monday for closer ties and coordination between Syria and the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas, better known as Abu Mazen, held talks with Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam and Foreign Minister Farouq Shara, said reports.
"We discussed the future of (Syrian-Palestinian) relations and their pursuit," added Abbas.
He said there was a need for "more extensive coordination" between the two parties.
"Syria has always placed itself alongside the Palestinian people," he said, cited by AFP.
"We also discussed in a profound and detailed manner" a visit to Syria by Arafat, Abbas told reporters on the second day of his visit.
Arafat has not made an official visit to Syria since 1996, although he attended late president Hafez Al Assad's funeral in June 2000.
Relations chilled after the 1993 Oslo peace accords between the Palestinians and Israel, to which Damascus is hostile.
The idea of Arafat visiting Damascus has been planned since the last Arab summit in Jordan last March, at which the Syrian and Palestinian leaders held talks.
It is the first visit to Syria in 15 years by Abbas, who was one of the architects of the 1993 Oslo accords on Palestinian autonomy – Albawaba.com
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