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Media hails Damascus summit

Commentators in France and the Middle East give a positive verdict on Thursday's four-way summit between Syria, France, Turkey and Qatar.

President Nicolas Sarkozy, Syria"s President Bashar al-Assad, Qatar"s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

Most of them welcome the return of Syria from the diplomatic wilderness, and see the summit as a chance to move toward peace in the Middle East.

One Iranian commentator believes French President Nicolas Sarkozy's attendance at the summit means that Europe is shifting away from US policies in the region, while another in Lebanon insists the Syrian government can still not be trusted.

EDITORIAL IN SYRIA'S TISHRIN

The four leaders who attended the summit in the oldest inhabited capital on earth do not just represent themselves or their countries but also represent effective international groupings ie the EU, the Arab world, the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Turkey with its huge regional role.

CHRISTOPHE BARBIER ON FRANCE'S LA CHAINE INFO TELEVISION

The results of this trip to Damascus don't immediately look impressive, but if you take a deeper view, it's rich in promise... The aim of this visit was to prepare the future. Nicolas Sarkozy is ploughing a furrow, he is sowing. This is risky with a country such as Syria, but it's interesting and it's promising.

MUSTAFA UNAL IN TURKEY'S ZAMAN

Even though no concrete results were reached in solving regional problems during the quadripartite summit which brought the Arab world and Europe to the same table, one can still say it gave rise to hope on the path towards peace and stability. And Turkey has become the bridge which brought these two distant worlds together.

EDITORIAL IN QATAR'S AL-WATAN

This summit can be described as a vote in favour of peaceful solutions based on a rational and wise handling of the region's crises.

RIDWAN AL-SAYYID IN LEBANON'S AL-MUSTAQBAL

The Syrian regime has no projects or strategies. It is all about the calculation of interests. So the Lebanese, the Palestinians, the Iraqis should all be on the alert not for Israel or the USA, but for the Syrian regime.

MUSIB AL-NU'AIMI IN IRAN'S AL-VEFAGH

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a staunch ally of Washington, has broken the siege laid by the USA on the Middle East... Sarkozy's visit to Syria has several meanings. One of them is that rationality has returned to the European arena.

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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