First U.S. Ambassador since 2005 arrives in Syria

15:59, January 17, 2011      

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<center class="t091105">The U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford. (Xinhua Photo)
The U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford has arrived in the capital of Syria on Sunday, local Damascus Press website reported.

Ford is the first U.S. Ambassador to Damascus since 2005. On December 2010, the White House announced that the U.S. President Barack Obama "recess appoints" Robert Ford as the U.S. ambassador to Syria.

Washington had recalled its ambassador in 2005 following the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri. The killing was widely blamed on Syria, which has roundly denied any involvement.

By reappointing ambassador to Damascus, Obama's administration is trying to persuade Syria to change its regional policies, break ties with Iran and end its support for extremist groups.

The return of U.S. envoy, however, has been regarded as a victory of Syria's diplomacy in breaking the international isolation led by Washington.

Source: Xinhua
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