Sharaa addresses Damascus meeting of foreign ministers
Regional, Politics, 6/28/1997
The foreign ministers of the Damascus Declaration states met in Lattakia, Syria on June 25. In addressing the group, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa called for a resumption of the peace process, expressed concern over the Israeli Turkish military alliance, and emphasized the importance of solidarity between member states.
Sharaa called for a resumption of the peace process, ³Which should be based on the Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories.² He also expressed his strong support of the Palestinians, charging Israel to guarantee, ³The legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination and an independent state.²
He characterized current Arab interest in peace as ³sincere² and sharply criticized Israel for ³repeated aggressions against South Lebanon and escalation of tension in the region² as evidenced by its current policies and actions.
Sharaa included criticism of the US for upcoming participation in military exercises with Israel and Turkey, saying that the US should be forwarding the cause of peace in the region.
Also, Sharaa told the attendees that the cooperation of the member states was imperative in supporting their mutual interests. ³Without commitment to what we have agreed upon, our bloc and gathering is meaningless. In the past and as a result of the absence of a real solidarity, we have witnessed many tragedies, setbacks and collapses.²
The meeting was attended by foreign ministers and their delegations from several countries around the region. The Syrian delegation was led by Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa, the United Arab Emirates delegation by Foreign Minister Rashid Abdullah al-Nu'imi, the Bahraini delegation by Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Mubarak al- Khalifa, the Saudi delegation by Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Fiasal, the Omani delegation by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Yosif Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah, the Kuwaiti delegation by State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Abdul Aziz Dakhil al-Dakhil, the Egyptian delegation by Foreign Minister Amre Moussa, and the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council delegation by the council's secretary, General Jamil Ibrahim al-Hjalan.
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