BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 21:05 GMT 22:05 UK
Annan pushes peace in Syria
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan shakes hands with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara in Damascus
Mr Annan faces a tough sale in Syria
By Frank Gardner in Damascus

UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan has met Syria's Foreign Minister, Farouk al-Shara, in Damascus.

The UN chief's visit to Syria came on the same day as hardline Palestinian groups there denounced the ceasefire brokered between Israel and the Palestinians.

Mr Annan spent more than an hour behind closed doors, deep in discussion with the Syrian foreign minister.

If there were differences of opinion about the path to Middle East peace, they did not come out in the press conference.

Kofi Annan, left, with Amr Moussa in Cairo
Kofi Annan, left, with Amr Moussa in Cairo
Mr Annan said simply that they had discussed the Israeli-Palestinian situation, UN sanctions on Iraq, and Lebanon.

He is due to meet Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday.

But, of all the countries on Mr Annan's Middle East tour, Syria is the one most opposed to any sort of compromise with Israel.

Uprising encouraged

The state-run newspaper, Al-Thawra, has demanded that the Palestinian uprising continue unabated until Israel vacates "all occupied Arab land" and a Palestinian state is established.

Hardline Palestinian resistance groups based here went further, blasting the newly agreed truce with Israel as a sell-out.

A statement issued by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said the truce would create an inter-Palestinian crisis dividing the Palestinians.

Statements like these show that Syria, while welcoming the UN chief to the region, is a country yet to be reconciled with the current round of peace-making in the Middle East.

Earlier in the day, Mr Annan was in Cairo, where he met the head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, and Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

12 Jun 01 | Middle East
Middle East ceasefire 'breakthrough'
12 Jun 01 | Middle East
Hardliners disapprove of ceasefire plan
12 Jun 01 | Middle East
Annan heads to Middle East
06 Jun 01 | Middle East
CIA back centre stage in Mid-East
06 Jun 01 | Middle East
Viewpoint: Gazans fear for the future
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories