Syria's Assad calls for new EU approach to Mideast region

21:48, May 27, 2010      

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on the European Union (EU) to adopt a new approach towards the Middle East, state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported Thursday.

Al-Assad's call came during a meeting with visiting European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Mashreq Countries ( EPDRMC).

The Syrian leader stated earlier to the Italian daily La Repubblica, published Monday, that Washington had lost much of its influence in the Middle East despite hopes raised by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Al-Assad argued that the United States and Europe had failed to resolve the problems of the region, noting that the Arab world is going through changes, he described as "historic."

According to the report, the meeting discussed relations between Syrian and the European Union, and ways to boost cooperation between the two sides through the Syrian-European Association Initiative.

Portuguese MP Mario David, who headed the delegation, said that Syria is an important regional power which plays a basic role in the region.

David made it clear that the visit aimed at exchanging viewpoints, reiterating the European Parliament's stance on the necessity of peace to prevail in the region and find a comprehensive solution to all pending issues, including the problem of refugees hosted by Syria, particularly the Palestinians and the Iraqis, SANA said.

The Syrian Parliament agreed with EPDRMC on Tuesday to form a parliamentary friendship association.

EPDRMC was set up in the wake of the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979. Since the 2004 elections, the delegation's remit has been limited to the four countries in the Mashreq region: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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