Syria postpones Abbas visit in protest of Goldstone report delay

Published October 5th, 2009 - 02:08 GMT

Syria has postponed a planned visit to Damascus by Palestinian Authority chief Mahmud Abbas due to start on Tuesday, a Palestinian official told AFP. He said the postponement came because of a "surprise" visit to Damascus by Saudi King Abdullah.

 

However, a report by the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television had earlier said Damascus postponed Abbas' visit in protest over the Palestinian delegation to the UN Human Rights Council dropping its support for an immediate vote on a damning report on the Gaza war.

 

Abbas had been due to arrive in Damascus on Tuesday and hold talks with President Bashar al-Assad.

 

Abbas has faced a growing wave of criticism over the decision not to support a vote on the Gaza report, which was widely seen as a result of intense pressure from the US. The UN report on Gaza, authored by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes.

 

On Sunday, an official source at the Syrian Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying by SANA as saying that Syria was "surprised" by the request of the Palestinian Authority to postpone taking action on Goldstone report.

 

"Syria finds it strange that the PA could go for delay, cutting short many Arab, Islamic and international efforts to take appropriate measures to put the report's recommendations into effect," the Syrian source added.

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