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Syrian president hopes no war under new U.S. administration
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09:10, December 23, 2008

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed the hope on Monday that there would be no war in the world under a new U.S. administration after President-elect Barack Obama took office in January.

"We hope from the new (U.S.) administration that we will not witness new wars anywhere in the world, particularly in the Middle East. I believe many in the Eastern and Western world share my hope," Assad told a joint press conference with his visiting Croatian counterpart Stjepan Mesic.

"We in Syria are optimistic by nature, but this doesn't mean that we should have expectation that are not yet supported by clear, tangible information," he noted.

He also expressed the hope that the new U.S. administration "will work in a serious, practical and realistic manner to achieve peace in the Middle East."

He hoped that the administration will possess a clear vision for resolving the big issue of Iraq by withdrawing foreign forces from it and by creating a political process that leads to stabilizing Iraq and unifying it in the future.

"We have to wait for the arrival of the new (U.S.) administration next month before we can make judgments on anything," added Assad.

On the situation in Gaza Strip, Assad said he discussed with President Mesic the tragic situation of the Palestinian people in Gaza caused by the unjust Israeli siege and the policy of collective punishments practiced by Israel.

Assad underlined the need for European countries to take a stance in favor of humanity by working to lift the unjust siege imposed on the defenseless population of Gaza.

In turn, Mesic described his talks with Assad as comprehensive friendship talks which would open up a real opportunity for expanding bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields.

Mesic arrived here on Sunday evening for a three-day visit to Syria. During his stay, he would visit the Golan Heights and celebrate Christmas with the Croatian soldiers serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) there.


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