On Powel's visit to Syria
Syria-USA, Politics, 4/29/2003
The BBC correspondent in Damascus said that in light of the intensive political and diplomatic moves, Damascus considers the great importance of the expected visit by the US secretary of state Colin Powell to Syria in light of which the future of Syrian- American relations will be determined.
The correspondent added that Powell's visit to Damascus will be preceded by talks between the Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Tuesday, a meeting which was due on April 16 but was postponed because of the current conditions in northern Iraq.
Moreover, the Japanese foreign minister will be arriving in Damascus today and she will hold talks with President Bashar al-Assaf and with the foreign minister Farouk al-Shara on conditions in Iraq and the ME peace process in light of declaring the Road Map, adding that the Japanese foreign minister will head after Damascus to the occupied territories in a step to give the ME peace process a push forward.
The correspondent added to the leakage of press news in the atmospheres which overwhelm in the region stating that a governmental reshuffle will be taking place in Syria similar to that which took place in Lebanon and that the Syrian leadership wants to cope with recent developments in the region. A matter which was ruled out by well-informed sources in Damascus, denying any ministerial reshuffle in Syria, at least in these conditions the region is passing and that the Syrian internal policy is not linked to international or external events as often happened in other states.
The well-informed sources continued that even the economic impact of the Iraqi war which covered the whole world will not have any effect on the long or intermediate run and that the economic conditions in Syria, as described by the Syrian minister of the economy are solid and that his country will work to restore back trade relations with Iraq and to join, at the European support, the World Trade Organization, despite the American opposition.
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