Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Syrian Ambassador Speaks at Georgetown University

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Syrian Ambassador Speaks at Georgetown University

Article excerpt

Dr. Imad Moustapha, Syria's ambassador to the United States, spoke to a group of students, professors and journalists at Georgetown University in Washington, DC on March 3. He predicted a difficult period in U.S.-Syrian relations, as an election year leaves politicians particularly open to special interests.

According to Dr. Moustapha, the two most contentious issues between Washington and Damascus are "the Iraqi situation" and "the Palestinian question." Syrian President Bashar Assad and President George W. Bush actually share common ground, he stated, in that both want to see Iraq regain its sovereignty as soon as possible, and for that nation to maintain its territorial integrity. Reporting no major disagreements between the two nations, Dr. Moustapha insisted that the Syrian government is still policing its border with Iraq and keeping people from crossing, as per American demands.

The ambassador reminded his listeners that Syria voted in favor of U.N. Resolution 1441, which stepped up weapons inspections in Iraq, but was opposed to the American-led invasion. In Moustapha's opinion, Syria is still being punished for its initial opposition to the war on Iraq, citing as evidence the U. …

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