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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Guarded press welcome for Pelosi
Arabic press graphic

Papers in Syria give a measured response to a visit by the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Some believe it is a good first step but condemn US policy.

Newspapers across the Middle East reflect both scepticism and optimism, while in the influential pan-Arab press, commentators see the visit both as a "temporary sedative" to problems in the Middle East and a "major blow" to President Bush.

KHALID AL-ASHHAB IN SYRIA'S GOVERNMENT-OWNED AL-THAWRAH

The visit of Ms Nancy Pelosi ... is only the first step being made to clear the air between Syria and the US.

SYRIA'S RULING PARTY AL-BA'TH

Damascus welcomes the US guest, hoping that a new common ground for dialogue will be established to stop the language of threats and sanctions that the US always uses against Syria.

SYRIA'S GOVERMENT-OWNED TISHRIN

Although we don't believe that the visit is positive regardless of what comes out of it, we believe that the talks [Pelosi] will have in Damascus are in fact very important.

HAYAT AL-HUWAYIK ATTYYIAH IN JORDAN'S INDEPENDENT AL-DUSTUR

Pelosi has not come to Damascus to oppose US policy but rather to continue this policy in the interests of her country.

MAHMUD AL-RIMAWI IN JORDAN'S INDEPENDENT AL-RA'Y

The Republicans and Democrats... adopt very similar positions towards our region. These positions are unfair and not objective. The difference between them is only in the means and methods and not in the aims or long-term interests.

SAUDI ARABIA's INDEPENDENT AL-RIYADH

The US House speaker has become the one who wants to tackle the reality in the region. And even if she has come with no new ideas, she wants to resolve some of the points of controversy between the two sides.

EGYPT'S PRO-GOVERNMENT AL-AHRAM

Whether Washington agrees or not, Damascus plays a very important role which can not be ignored regarding the stability of Iraq and Lebanon and a lasting solution to the Middle East crisis. Therefore entering into dialogue is very useful and important.

DAWUD AL-SHARYAN IN PAN-ARAB, SAUDI-OWNED AL-HAYAT

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit is a temporary sedative to the real crisis between the White House and the Syrian government .. it is part of the public relations campaign being waged by the US in the region since the start of the Iraqi war.

INDEPENDENT ARAB NATIONALIST AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

The current visit by the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Damascus is a major blow to President George W Bush and his Middle East policies ... The visit also reflects the clear intention by the opposition Democrats to carry out basic changes in those policies if it wins the presidential elections.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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