Sources: Qatar proposes to Assad to host summit with Israeli president

Published January 17th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

Qatar's First Deputy to Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr Al Thani, arrived in Damascus Friday evening. 


Sheikh Hamad was received at Damascus international Airport by Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara and several senior officials of the Foreign Ministry as well as the Qatari Ambassador in Damascus and embassy Staff. 


Hamad told SANA that "he is carrying a verbal message to President Bashar al-Assad from the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani on the developments in the region." 


However, Arab sources said the Qatari message included an offer to host in Doha a summit between the Syrian President and the Israeli President, Moshe Katsav. 


Earlier this week, Katsav invited Assad to come to Jerusalem for peace talks. Damascus rejected the invitation, saying it was not serious and calling it "a trick to evade serious peace talks." But on Friday, a Kuwaiti newspaper, A Siyasah said Bashar al Assad was considering accepting Katsav's proposal to hold a joint summit.  


The paper quoted an Egyptian diplomat in Greece as saying that Cairo was trying to convince Assad to meet with Katsav either in a European country or in Jordan. 


Qatari sources were quoted Saturday as saying that the proposed summit will be secret after getting promises from the Israeli side not to "leak" information about it. (

© 2004 Al Bawaba (

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