Syrian President Bashar al Assad dismissed Thursday the basis of U.S. sanctions on his country and said he would not expel Palestinian groups as demanded by the Bush administartion.
Assad rejected US claims and conveyed Syria does not have weapons of mass destruction and there is no evidence of foreign fighters crossing the border from Syria to Iraq, The AP reported.
"We have always asked the administration to give us one passport or one name or evidence of that (border infiltration) happening. So far, we have not had that happen," Assad told a team of US editors.
Assad met the editors at the presidential palace while they were on a fact-finding trip arranged by the Washington-based International Reporting Project.
US President Bush imposed the sanctions Tuesday.
Assad said Thursday "there are no leaders" of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Syria, but only political spokesmen who came to Syria after being deported by Israel.
Referring to Hamas members in Syria, Assad said: "If you ask them to go, where could they go? They have to go back to their land and Israel could put them in jail...We don't expel people. They should go back home." (Albawaba.com)
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