At the end of a two-day summit held in Naples, which focused on the Middle East, Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, expressed optimism that the EU would soon conclude an elusive association agreement with Syria.
Syria is the only member of the EU's 12-member Mediterranean club not to have signed.
"We have clearly encouraged Syria to involve itself even more in common action to fight terrorism and make a contribution to isolating the extremists who are damaging peace," Frattini expressed.
The association agreement would help bring Syria into the international fold.
For his part, EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten said the agreement could be signed within "the next few weeks".
Frattini said the signals coming from Damascus "are very encouraging", adding that Syria's declared willingness to revive peace talks with Israel is "very much appreciated" by the summit. (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )