Nancy Pelosi, far left US Speaker of the House is off to bring peace to the Middle East.
From China’s People’s Daily Online
Pelosi would held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other officials which would focus on the fight against terrorism.
Pelosi said in Beirut on Monday that she would persuade Assad to help Lebanon, especially in efforts to set up an international court of justice to find out facts behind the assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri in February 2005.
She would also have discussions with Assad on Syria’s influence in Iraq, as well as on the radical groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.
Pelosi, the highest-ranking U.S. politician to visit here in years, headed a congressional delegation on a fact-finding trip to the Middle East that has taken her to Israel, Lebanon, Palestinian territories and will also take her to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Her trip to Damascus was criticized as a “really bad idea” by the White House that has been accusing Syria of supporting terror organizations and doing little to stop weapons and militants from infiltrating into Iraq and destabilize situation there.
Pelosi, however, argued in Beirut on Monday that the journey was “an excellent idea” and she would discuss with Assad “the overarching issue of the fighting against terrorism and the role that Syria can play to help or to hinder.”
Damascus supports the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah movement which Washington labels as terror organizations.
Relations between Washington and Damascus have been strained since 2003 as Syria strongly objected the U.S. invasion of Iraq and blamed the U.S.-led occupation for the turbulences in the country ever after.
Washington withdrew its ambassador to Damascus for its alleged role in the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri in February 2005.
Syria denied any involvement in the murder although a UN probe has implicated senior Syrian officials in the case.