Message from al-Assad to Chirac conveyed by al-Sharaa
Syria-France, Politics, 9/20/1999
French President Jacques Chirac on Saturday received Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa in Paris. Al-Sharaa, during the meeting, gave the French president a message from Syrian President Hafez al-Assad on the "latest developments in the Middle East peace process and Syrian - French relations."
During the meeting, the French president and al-Sharaa discussed developments in the Middle East and the role that can be played by France and the European Union in contributing to the efforts aimed at reviving the Middle East peace talks, especially on the Syrian and Lebanese peace tracks.
The two sides also discussed French-Syrian relations and means of developing them. The French president sent a message with al-Sharaa to the Syrian president, stressing the importance of continued consultations between Syria and France.
SANA's correspondent in Paris said the meeting of the French President with al-Sharaa was a "continuation" of the phone call President Chirac had made to President al-Assad on Monday.
Earlier in the day, al-Sharaa arrived in Paris for a two-day visit to France.
Following the meeting with President Chirac, al-Sharaa told reporters that views on the importance of achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and the resumption of peace talks on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks from the point they stopped at were identical, adding that an agreement was reached between Syria and France to continue contacts and consultations, especially between President al-Assad and President Chirac.
Answering a question, al-Sharaa said, "I can say that the coming few months should determine the future of the peace process on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks." He added that several sides have told "us" that the Israeli government accepts resuming talks from the point they broke off, but "we" want a clear confirmation about the meaning of the point "they stopped at. There should not be any interpretation for that."
Concerning the role played by France in the Middle East peace process, the Syrian FM said that France can play an important role in the peace process, taking into consideration France's role in the European Union and the international arena.
Al-Sharaa stressed the unity between the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, saying, "We thoroughly coordinate with our brothers in Lebanon on all issues of interest, including, of course, the Middle East peace process."
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