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|Wednesday, July 19, 2000, updated at 20:55(GMT+8)|
Jordanian King Visits Syria to Congratulate BasharJordanian King Abdullah Bin Hussein left Wednesday for Damascus on a good-will visit to Syria to congratulate Bashar al-Assad after he was sworn in as President of Syria.
The monarch is also expected to attend events on Thursday marking the end of a 40-day mourning period for late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, Bashar's father who died of a heart attack on June 10.
Ties between Jordan and Syria have been drastically improved after King Abdullah acceded to the throne in February 1999 after his father King Hussein Ibn Talal died of cancer.
Assad and Hussein had been at odds over Jordan's 1994 peace treaty with Israel, as Assad was against any unilateral Arab action to reach a peace deal with the Jewish state.
The king's visit will further boost ties between the two countries as he has established close personal ties with Bashar.
The two new rulers, who marked a breed of young Arab leaders, shared similar views on the Middle East peace process and a need to develop national economy.
Bashar was sworn in on Monday to serve a seven-year term after he won a landslide victory earlier this month in a national referendum to succeed his father as president.
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