Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Syrian president kicks off historical visit to Turkey

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad arrived in Ankara Tuesday for a three-day ground-breaking visit to neighboring Turkey.


Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad arrived Tuesday for a three-day ground-breaking visit to neighboring Turkey.

Bilateral relations and the Iraq issue would be on the agenda of Al-Assad's visit to Turkey, diplomatic sources said, adding that documents on prevention of double taxation, promotion and protection of investments as well as the sixth tourism protocol are expected to be signed during Al-Assad's visit.

After a scheduled meeting between Turkish President Ahmed Necdet Sezer and Al-Assad, the two leaders are expected to preside the meetings between Turkish and Syrian delegations, the sources added.

Al-Assad's visit came amid a rapprochement in relations between the two countries, which came to the brink of war just a few years ago.

"We have doors wide open ahead of us to achieve our objectives, and cooperation between our countries is super," Al-Assad said.

A statement from the Turkish presidency said Monday that the visit "is of special importance because it is the first presidential visit from Syria."

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in December to combat crime and terrorism following a series of car bomb attacks in Istanbul in November, 2003.

Source: Xinhua

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