- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 20, 2003

DAMASCUS, Syria, April 20 (UPI) — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak conferred Sunday with Syrian leader Bashar Assad in Damascus on post-war Iraq and tensions between the United States and Syria.

Mubarak later traveled to Manama, Bahrain, to meet with King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa.

Diplomatic sources said the Mubarak-Assad talks were to reaffirm the Syrian-Egyptian strategic alliance and improve a recent strain in bilateral relations.

Sources said the two leaders will also discuss U.S. allegations that Syria may be developing chemical weapons and possibly harboring officials of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baath Party regime. Syria has denied the accusations.

Syrian officials expressed satisfaction that Egypt and Iraq's other neighbors whose foreign ministers met in Riyadh on Friday rejected Washington's threats against Syria and the U.S.-British "occupation" of Iraq.

Syrian-Egyptian relations were strained because of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, which was opposed by Damascus. Syrian anti-war demonstrators angered Egypt for shouting slogans against Mubarak and his lenient stand on the war.

Observers expected Egypt to use its good relations with Syria and the United States to narrow differences between them.




Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide