Qaddoumi: Arafat, Bashar did not Talk Politics

Published June 14th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

By Nabil Al Mulhem 

Damascus – 


The meeting between Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and the late Syrian president’s son, Bashar, was “cordial, but it did not tackle politics,” according to Farouq Qaddoumi, head of PLO’s Political Department. 

Arafat was in Damascus Tuesday to pay the last respects to his old foe, Assad, and offer condolences to his family. The Palestinian president met with Bashar 

Assad for about ten minutes, and a Palestinian official told the same day that differences between the Palestinian Authority and Syria were almost over.  

The friction between Arafat and the late Assad intensified when the PLO signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1993.  

Qaddoumi said, however, that Palestinian-Syrian relations are “good and improving.”  

He added that, in light of the latest developments at the Palestinian- Israeli level, Israel is becoming inceasingly rigid in its position on all tracks of the peace settlement negotiations. 

Meanwhile, the key Palestinian official denied as baseless reports that Syria has asked Palestinian factions working on its territory to tune down their hard-line position towards the PA. 

“I say that Syria is with Palestinian unity,” he said without further comment. 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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