European commissioner to visit Syria over ties

09:02, January 24, 2011      

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European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy and External Relations Stefan Fule will hold talks with Syrian official here on Tuesday, a source in EU Commission media office in Damascus told Xinhua Sunday.

Fule will meet the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Deputy Prime Minister for Economical Affairs Abdullah al-Dardari to discuss bilateral relationships between EU and Syria.

The activation of the EU-Syrian Partnership agreement signed in 2004 will also be viewed.

Syria and the EU first initiated an earlier version of the agreement in autumn of 2004, following years of negotiations. The agreement was shelved after the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri in Beirut 2005.

Subsequently, Damascus, the EU said, should liberalize its politics and economy and improve its human rights record. No such conditions have been imposed on other countries that signed partnership agreements with the EU in the past.

However, Damascus has officially asked to postpone the signing to an unspecified date, saying it needs taking more time to consider the agreement and assess its impact on Syria's economy.

Source: Xinhua

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