The Bush administration has ended its diplomatic quarantine of Syria by having the Secretary of State meet her counterpart from Damascus during a conference in Egypt that the US hopes will be a first step towards restoring stability in Iraq. The move is a sharp reversal of strategy, given the invective that the White House only last month was pouring on a trip to the Syrian capital by Nancy Pelosi and its criticism of visits by other members of Congress.
Ms. Rice held the ice-breaking 30 minutes bilateral session with Walid al-Moualem, the Syrian Foreign Minister, who was escorted to her presence by the Egyptian Foreign Minister. The meeting, the first of its kind in two years was ”frank and constructive” Mr. Mousalem told reporters. Ms. Rice described it as “businesslike and professional.” She insisted the discussion dealt exclusively with the vexed issue of transit and sanctuary for foreign fighters and insurgents and not with Syria’s involvement in Lebanon or its hand in the 2005 murder of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik al-Hairi.
Information from The Independent
We wonder if the right wing press will now denounce Secretary of State Rice in the same manner they blasted Nancy Pelosi for talking with the Syrians