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Friday, 28 September, 2001, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
Syria cautions EU on terror fight
Louis Michel and Farouk al-Sharaa
The EU's Louis Michel (left) heard Syria's concerns from Farouk al-Sharaa (right)
Syria will only support an international campaign against terrorism if it is clearly defined and spares the lives of civilians, it has told a delegation of European Union leaders.

Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa said it was crucial that such a mission should be within a United Nations framework and that the meaning of terrorism be clearly defined.

Bashar al-Assad
President Assad - unlikely to support tough action
He was speaking after a meeting in Damascus between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a high-level delegation from the EU.

The delegation, consisting of Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, has been touring the Middle East and South Asia trying to drum up support for the US-led coalition against terrorism.

Syria's stance makes it unlikely that it will support tough military action against Afghanistan, which the US says is sheltering Osama Bin Laden, its prime suspect for the attacks.

Some disagreements

Mr Michel acknowledged there were disagreements with Syria, especially when it came to defining a terrorist group.

Mr Sharaa added that his country had been shocked by the attacks in the US.

The EU delegation has already visited Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

See also:

22 Sep 01 | Middle East
New EU peace drive in Mid-East
10 Sep 01 | Middle East
Iran and EU hold historic talks
21 Sep 01 | Europe
EU leaders open emergency summit
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