On Syrian-Israeli negotiations
Syria-Israel, Politics, 9/15/1999
US sources told the London-based al-Hayat daily in Washington that the Syrian ambassador to the US, Walid al-Mu'allim, did not return to his work in Washington since he was summoned to Damascus in July and stated that al-Mu'allim also did not attend the meeting between Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on September 4 in Damascus.
The US unofficial sources considered that as a recession in the direct role played by al-Mu'allim concerning the Syrian - Israeli peace negotiations, against a notable progress in the role played by a member of the former Syrian delegation, Riyadh al-Dawoudi, who attended the al-Assad - Albright meeting.
On the other hand, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa will head for Washington on September 18 to meet with Albright (probably in Washington) or on the sidelines of the meetings of the UN General Assembly, in the course of continued contacts to find a formula conducive to resuming Syrian-Israeli negotiations.
Following his meeting with Albright on September 4, al-Sharaa said she did not carry with her "the good news" that Damascus had been waiting for, but he remarked that his country "still hopes that such good news will come," in reference to the recognition "of the US and Barak" of the document deposited by then-Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, pertaining to a full Israeli withdrawal to behind the June 4, 1967 border lines as a basis to resuming negotiations from the point at which they broke off at the beginning of 1996.
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