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US says its visit to Syria was "useful"

March 13th, 2007 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

The US government says its highest-level visit to Syria was “useful”.

Bush sent Ellen Sauerbrey, the US assistant secretary of state for refugees and migration, to talk to Bashar.

US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said they had direct talks. A representative from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was expected to attend, so the US could say the US and Syria didn’t have direct bilateral talks.

Sauerbrey was in Damascus to talk about the Iraqi refugees. The Syrians “expressed their willingness to continue hosting displaced Iraqis, although noting the burden that this does place on them and on their system,” Casey said.

Bush asked his ambassador to leave Damascus two days after Rafiq Al-Hariri’s assasination, clearly trying to pin the blame on Syria. But it is important to remember that the ambassador was just ‘recalled’, and not ‘withdrawn’. If an ambassador is ‘withdrawn’ it means diplomatic ties are officially broken. An ambassador can be recalled to receive instructions in Washington, to do official business back home – or in this case, to apply pressure on Damascus.

It is just that this recall has lasted two years, and not one week.

It is an important point, and one that AP has slipped up on again and again.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Wassim // Mar 13, 2007 at 2.03 pm

    My visit to the supermarket last weekend was also useful. I discovered that the latest Humus batch had been “recalled” but that too was different from “withdrawn”. Recalled meant that they would return it once whatever syringes, blades or insects they had in it were found. I expressed a willingness to continue making Humus, noting the burden this would place on my fragile resources.

    Actually, I don’t care anymore if the supermarket doesn’t sell Humus, I discovered that the Humus I make at home was much better and tastier.

  • 2 sasa // Mar 13, 2007 at 2.16 pm

    I like what you are saying Wassim! I think many Syrians would agree with you.

  • 3 Anonymous // Mar 13, 2007 at 9.34 pm

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