Assad Receives Phone Call from Schroeder

Published December 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder telephoned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Thursday night, Syria's official press reported. 

"The conversation was on subjects of joint interest," newspapers reported Friday without elaboration. 

Schroeder's call came at a time when Germany is reported to be mediating a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hizbollah, Lebanon's fundamentalist Shiite Muslim party, which is supported by Syria. 

In October, Hizbollah captured three Israeli soldiers and an Israeli reserve colonel. Hizbollah has demanded the release of the 19 Lebanese prisoners in Israel as well other Arab prisoners in exchange for the Israelis' freedom. 

Schroeder had visited Damascus at the end of October, clearing the way for an agreement restructuring Syria's financial debt to Germany, estimated at one billion dollars -- DAMASCUS (AFP)  




© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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