AL-ARAB AL-YAWM (JORDAN)
Neighbors say Iraq’s security improved
The interior ministers of Iraq’s neighbors agreed in a meeting in Amman that the security conditions in the country have improved.
They also condemned terrorism against Iraq and its neighbors and stressed the importance of Iraq’s sovereignty, Arab and Islamic identity and its territorial unity. They vowed to help the country by controlling their borders with Iraq to prevent infiltrations and fight terrorism, as well as confronting cross-border smuggling.
AL-QUDS AL-ARABI (LONDON)
Syria awaits U.S.-Iraq response
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem described the U.S. attack on a Syrian village bordering Iraq as criminal and “shameful aggression,” placing the responsibility on Washington, and called for an investigation.
During a visit to London on Monday, Mr. Muallem said the Syrian response to the attack will depend on the explanation Damascus receives from the U.S. and Iraqi governments, stressing that his country has the right to defend its territories and sovereignty.
Hariri, Nasrallah commit to peace
The meeting between MP Saad Hariri from the Future bloc and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday night, in an undisclosed location for security reasons, boosted stability in Lebanon, as the two reaffirmed their commitment to national unity and civil peace.
The two agreed to take all measures needed to prevent internal tensions and strengthen the atmosphere for dialogue, in line with the Taif accord (which ended the 1975-90 civil war) and the Doha agreement for national reconciliation.
Syria accused of arming Hezbollah
A senior Israeli military official accused Syria on Sunday of arming the Lebanese Hezbollah organization, claiming that the country “has become a weapons’ storage for Hezbollah.”
The head of the Israeli military intelligence said at a weekly Cabinet meeting that Hezbollah activists “do as they wish in Syria, which has removed all restrictions on the group’s irresponsible behavior in gaining almost all its strategic capabilities.”
Nasrallah denies report of poisoning
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah denied reports that he was poisoned in an assassination attempt, saying these allegations were part of the “psychological warfare against the resistance, primarily aimed at trying to show as if there is a power struggle within the party.”
He made his remarks in an interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV aired on Sunday morning, in which he said the reports were carried by Web sites that lack credibility, accusing these sites of serving the Americans and Israelis.
Solana in Damascus to improve ties
The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, began an official visit to Syria for talks on regional developments, the peace process and Syria-Europe ties.
He told the Qatar-based Al Jazeera channel that he enjoys good relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on a personal and political level, noting the important recent developments in the region since his last visit to Syria in March.
AL-KHALEEJ (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Peres seeks changes to peace initiative
Diplomatic sources expected Israeli President Shimon Peres to be carrying an initiative for negotiations with the Arabs when he met with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak on Oct. 23 in Cairo.
Arab League chief Amr Moussa insisted that the Arab peace initiative will not be amended, while Hamas warned that Israel was seeking to promote with the Arabs a “dangerous project” aimed at “containing the Arab countries to serve the occupation.”
• Compiled by Sana Abdallah of the Middle East Times