More reports today of secret negotiations between Bush and the Syrian government.
A senior source in Damascus says that the two countries are talking about a face-saving way for Syria to take the blame for the Hariri investigation.
According to the leaks, Syria would hand over Ghazli and a senior aide, who would be charged with murder. Bashar and Asef Shawkat would be off the hook and full relations between the two countries would be re-established.
Apparently, America is laying down other conditions: an end to the support for Iraq’s insurgents and tighten the border. An interesting new condition is that America wants Syria to play down its ties with Iran – if Syria comes back into the international community, it must play the game of isolating Iran.
Syria seems willing on all three fronts.
But there is also a demand to end support for Hizbollah, which Syria isn’t so keen on.
The talks are happening with Saudi mediation. But the US Embassy in Beirut denied that anything was happening. Last year secret talks between Syria and Israel were blown out of the water and all ties were cut when they were leaked to the press.