Moussa briefs Assad on new developments
Egypt-Syria, Politics, 10/10/2000
Egypt's Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said his visit Tuesday to the Syrian capital came within the context of coordination between the two states.
Following a meeting today with President Bashar Al Assad, he said President Mubarak entrusted him to brief the Syrian President on a number of new developments in the region, stressing the importance of swift and direct Arab coordination at this phase.
Moussa told MENA that Egypt and Syria are holding constant consultations including a telephone conversation Monday between Presidents Mubarak and Assad. He also referred to contacts to be held shortly with Saudi Arabia and Jordan besides other sisterly countries.
At a press conference with his Syrian counterpart Farouk Al Sharaa, Moussa said he conveyed a message from President Mubarak to President Assad on Arab coordination at this sensitive phase.
Moussa, who left the Syrian capital immediately after the news conference, said he held important discussions on many issues, primarily the Arab Summit, preparations towards its holding, items on its agenda and joint Arab action in the immediate and near future to face the grave challenges.
"Arab contacts and consultations are going in light of the gravity of the situation and challenging developments," he said.
Asked whether there were any new developments, given his visit to Syria for the second time in 48 hours, Moussa said "we would not like to place the visit within the framework of new developments, but within the context of the special need for direct discussions to reach a common understanding.î ìThe peace process is in a real fix, and if it collapses, it will be an extra crisis for the process," he added.
"On the Israeli threats against Lebanon and Syria, he said that he did not find the Syrians wary of them, and the same goes for Lebanon as well as every other Arab capital," he said.
"Threats do not intimidate Arab countries, and this is a very important point that the others must understand," he added.
A sound Arab stance is in the making, Moussa pointing out, it takes into consideration that there are limits to the Arab power and also understands that there are limits to the use of force by various parties, including the Israelis.
Sharaa, on his part, said Israel alone is to bear the responsibility for the escalation whether in occupied Palestinian lands or in South Lebanon.
"No country in the region with the exception of has issued any threats or warnings. It is an ultimatum that is categorically rejected and will only add to the Arab determination and steadfastedness," he added.
He said he agreed with Moussa that the Arab street was not intimidated by the Israeli threats, adding "we coordinate together in search for the best option to activate Arab solidarity and to cement it at the upcoming Arab Summit."
Shara expressed belief that the Arab world is facing a new phase, asserting that Israel will pay a very dear price for the killing of innocent Palestinians who took to the streets only to defend their dignity and nation.
"Syria appreciates the international efforts being exerted to bring an end to the crisis," he said.
"we want to translate the words that we hear over the telephone contacts into deeds, we want the US to adopt the stance that would hold Israel responsible for the repercussions of all its acts of aggresion," he stressed.
"We want a clear European position that will at least explain that Israel alone is responsible for all these negative developments in the region and the consecutive fall of victims and martyrs," he concluded.
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