Posted by Alex on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
Posted by Alex
Yesterday, President al-Assad again warned that the region will witness in the near future political events that might have dangerous repercussions on the future of its countries and peoples unless they were tackled in a rational way to serve the interests of all sides without favoring one side over another.
This was a recommitment to the warning Assad issued during his inaugural speech last July: "This year … perhaps not more than few months of this year, will determine the destiny and future of our area, and conceivably, the whole world."
These warnings might sound unrestrained… but this is how Dennis Ross evaluated the Syrian president’s comments, in 2003, on the future ramifications of the expected Iraq war:
“When Bashar spoke about the situation in Iraq just prior to the war, his comments bordered on the hysterical. At one point, he noted that a disaster on par with the creation of the state of Israel and the British betrayal of the Arabs after World War I would befall the Arab world”
Jordan's King Abdullah who avoided Syria for the past few years visited President Assad in Damascus this week. A joint communiqué following the talks yesterday included a number of Jordanian concessions to Damascus' demands:
According to a Royal Court statement, the two sides also agreed to expedite the implementation of existing bilateral agreements, especially with regard to both countries' shares in the water of the Yarmouk River basin.
On the issue of border delineation, the King, who returned home later Sunday, and Assad agreed that the technical committees should commence their work immediately to settle the issue.
Regarding joint Arab action, both leaders stressed their determination to activate Arab solidarity to face the challenges in the Middle East.
They expressed commitment to working and coordinating with Arab leaders to establish a unified Arab position on regional issues in isolation from external interference, and on bases that safeguard higher Arab interests and the interests of both countries in confronting political and security challenges as well as radicalism and terrorism.
The two leaders expressed keenness to intensify cooperation and coordination with Arab leaders to ensure the success of an Arab League summit that will be held in Damascus in 2008.
On the Palestinian issue, the two leaders stressed the importance of reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative and international resolutions that provide for the return of all occupied Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese lands.
The two leaders also discussed the situation in Lebanon, underlining their full respect to the sovereignty of Lebanon and denouncing the assassinations targeting Lebanese people. Both leaders also rejected all foreign interference in Lebanon's internal affairs.
They underscored the need for Lebanon to reach consensus on the presidential election.
The King and Assad also stressed the importance of Arab support for Iraq's unity, sovereignty and stability. Both leaders emphasised that solutions concerning the situation in Iraq should primarily come from within the war-torn country.
They said they support comprehensive national reconciliation in Iraq and the ongoing political process there.