Al-Arab Blog - مدونة العرب
Were the Syrians stupid enough to believe Colin Paul ?
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Secretary of State Colin Powell has asked Syria's president to help in stabilizing Iraq, Syria's official news agency said Thursday.
The request came in a letter from Powell to President Bashar Assad, congratulating him on Syria's Independence Day, which falls on April 17.
The letter from Powell — and a separate congratulatory letter from President Bush — were delivered by U.S. Ambassador Margaret Scobey during a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa.
Powell's message "explains the dangers of the developments in Iraq" and urges Syria "to give any possible help that could contribute to easing the situation there in a way that serves the country's unity and preserves its security and stability," SANA said.
The agency did not say what Bush's message contained.
In a televised address Tuesday, Bush said Iraq's neighbors "have responsibilities to make their region more stable."
He said he was sending Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to "discuss with these nations our common interest in a free and independent Iraq, and how they can help achieve this goal."
Syria, a staunch opponent of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, is the only country of seven on the U.S. list of states accused of sponsoring terrorism to have full diplomatic relations with the United States.
The United States has accused Syria of allowing foreign fighters to cross its borders into Iraq, and of hindering the war on terror.
In December, Bush approved the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, which accuses Syria of hosting militant Palestinian groups and seeking biological and chemical weapons.
The act says Syria must withdraw its 20,000 troops from neighboring Lebanon and stop militants and weapons from crossing its border into Iraq, and adds that if Damascus does not comply, Washington can impose economic and diplomatic sanctions.
Syria denies pursuing weapons of mass destruction and says the long, porous border with Iraq makes it hard to stop infiltrators.
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Anti War - Anti Racism
Let the downFall of Sharon be end to Zionism
By the Late, great political cartoonist Mahmoud Kahil