Arafat to visit Syria
Palestine-Syria, Politics, 5/10/1999
Chairman of the Palestinian National Council Salim al-Za'noun has stressed that a Syrian-Palestinian summit will be held shortly, saying that contacts and efforts exerted by Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have yielded fruit.
In a statement to the Jordanian daily al-Arab published on Sunday, al-Zanoun said the results attained by the Palestinian delegation led by the chairman of the PLO political department in Damascus are also promising in this regard.
He added that the Palestinian leadership is careful to restore relations with Syria, "due to its strategic importance and position." He noted that statements made by the Syrian leadership towards the Palestinian interests are encouraging.
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources in Damascus told the London-based al-Hayat daily that al-Qaddoumi conveyed to the Syrian officials the desire of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to visit Damascus in light of the mediation held by King Abdullah of Jordan.
A high-ranking Palestinian official told the paper in Gaza that he can assert that King Abdullah discussed the issue of Arafat's visit to Damascus with President Hafez al-Assad and that the "window for discussions was kept open and that the Egyptian officials are working in the same direction."
The same Palestinian source added that during the recent meeting held in Stuttgart, Germany, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa dealt with great transparency with the Palestinian delegation which was led by Minsiter of Planning and International Cooperation Nabil Shaath.
The paper added that observers indicated Damascus's consent for the first time to the visit by some 150 Palestinians to Syria, who carry Palestinian passports released by the Palestinian government. The paper added that this consent was made at the request of Intisar al-Wazir Um Jihad (her husband Abu Jihad was assassinated by the Israeli Mossad in Tunisia, and now she is minister of social affairs in the Palestinian Authority), during her recent visit to Damascus.
Al-Sharaa confers with al-Qaddoumi
Arafat is expected to visit Damascus, Beirut paper says
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