Syrian president meets U.S. Mideast envoy

08:12, January 21, 2010      

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Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman (R) meets with George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, January 20, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Wednesday with visiting U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace George Mitchell on bilateral relations, prospects of the Mideast peace and the situation in the region.

The envoy arrived in Damascus on Wednesday following his visit to Lebanon, on his eighth tour to the region and third to Syria since he assumed his post, the official SANA news agency reported.

Mitchell briefed al-Assad of the U.S. efforts to push forward the peace process, stressing his country is looking forward to the achievement of progress in Syrian-American relations and in the peace process, the report said.

Assad reiterated Syria's principled stance which calls for achieving a just and comprehensive peace, touching upon the important role of Turkey in the peace process, the report said.

Both sides affirmed that peace contributes to solving a lot of thorny issues in the Middle East, and that delaying the resolution of these issues further complicates them.

In a statement to reporters, Mitchell said he is looking forward to a positive relationship between the two countries in order to achieve substantive progress in the peace process and the bilateral relations, said the report.

He said that his talks with President al-Assad involved important issues on bilateral relations, saying "President (Barack) Obama and Secretary of State (Hillary) Clinton are committed to comprehensive peace in the Middle East."

Mitchell also affirmed Syria's important role in the peace efforts, adding that he is looking forward to coming back to Damascus in the near future.

Mitchell will also visit Israel and the Palestinian territories in the latest bid to persuade the Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations that have stalled for over a year.

Source: Xinhua
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