US invites Syrian official, rapproachement "slow"

US invites Syrian official, rapproachement "slow"

The United States has invited a Syrian official to Washington for the first time in five years as part of its efforts to improve relations with the Damascus government, a U.S. official and diplomats said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal al-Mekdad will visit Washington on Monday to discuss Iraq and U.S sanctions on Syria in a move that could help a slow rapprochement between the two countries, started by U.S. President Barack Obama soon after he took office in January, the diplomats said.

The visit comes as tension between Syria and Iraq grows, with Baghdad accusing Damascus of harbouring Saddam Hussein followers suspected of being behind deadly attacks in Iraq.

"Deputy Foreign Minister Mekdad will meet with U.S. government officials on a range of issues," the U.S. State Department official told Reuters, without giving details. "His visit is part of a continuing dialogue with Syria."

The United States sent a security delegation twice to Damascus this year to discuss cooperation on Iraq and steps that Syria could take to prevent infiltration of fighters and supplies through its borders into Iraq.

But Iraq withdrew its ambassador from Syria after two bomb attacks in Baghdad on Aug. 19 killed 95 people.

Damascus, which denied having a link to the attack, responded in kind. The Syrian government has also refused to hand over wanted members of the Iraqi Baath Party living in Syria, saying it was not convinced of the evidence against them.

A suspected Syrian role in foreign fighters' infiltration in Iraq was behind U.S. sanctions on Syria that were imposed following a 2004 U.S. law, as well as Syria's policy toward Lebanon and support for Palestinian militant groups.

SYRIAN INFLUENCE

The United States wants Syria's help in forging a deal between Israel and the Palestinians through its influence on the Palestinian group Hamas, which is opposed to President Mahmoud Abbas's approach to talks with Israel.

In Lebanon, Washington wants Syria to help in the formation of a new government led by its ally Saad al-Hariri, son of Rafik al-Hariri, a well connected Lebanese parliamentarian and former prime minister who was assassinated in Beirut in 2005.

Washington had blamed Syria for instability in Lebanon in the past and withdrew its ambassador in Damascus following the Hariri assassination.

The U.S. State Department announced in June that a U.S. ambassador would be restored to Damascus without giving a date.

"Obama has to have something to show for his overture toward Syria, and the Syrians may have to deliver more," one source following the talks between the two sides said.

Another source said Syria expects the United States to push Israel to resume peace talks with Damascus, which were suspended last year. George Mitchell, Obama's Middle East peace envoy, had visited Damascus twice but Syria was not included on his latest trip to the region this month.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who lives in exile in Syria, is expected to go to Cairo this week for talks with Egyptian officials about new proposals by Cairo to bring about a reconciliation between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction.

Iran declares production data for sugar beet
Iran declares production data for sugar beet
Iran's bitumen exports decrease
Iran's bitumen exports decrease
Azerbaijan boosts exports to Iran
Azerbaijan boosts exports to Iran
Loading Bars
Latest
Georgia reports 1,030 coronavirus cases for April 15
Kazakhstan’s KazMunayGas pays out coupon on its international bonds
Iran declares production data for sugar beet
Share of exports of Russian machinery, equipment, vehicles to Azerbaijan unveiled
Oil market may need extra supply in 2H 2021
War Trophy Park in Baku symbolizes heroic Azerbaijani people's triumphant victory - MP
Facebook signs first deal to buy renewable energy in India
Georgia to spend significant funds on tourism infrastructure in Akhaltsikhe
Top German health official says need to break third COVID-19 wave now
Iran's bitumen exports decrease
Azerbaijan sees increase in prices for silver, platinum, palladium
Turkmenistan should closely monitor bank balance sheets for asset quality risks - IMF
Minsk IT holding voices interest in Azerbaijani-Belarusian smart projects
European oil demand sees largest fall since April 2020
Cargo transportation volumes down in Kazakhstan
Moscow ahead of regional partners in terms of exports to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan boosts exports to Iran
Azerbaijan expanding co-op with Turkey on mail, money transfers
Kazakhstan’s Tengizchevroil to possibly face criminal case
Former heads of state, gov't call on President Biden to waive intellectual property rules for COVID-vaccines
CPI up 0.6% in March, housing prices still rising
Uzbekistan looks to build first pumped storage power plant
IMF continues to promote Turkmenistan's structural reforms aimed at economic diversification
Process begins for inviting financial bids for AI, deal to conclude by Sep
India, France discuss boosting cooperation, greater collaboration in diverse sectors
German COVID-19 cases jump by most since early January
U.S. vows to help bring investment to assist India’s mitigation efforts
Azerbaijani oil prices continue to rise
Wizz Air forecasts gradual flying recovery into late summer
PM: Despite local constraints, India sent doses to 80 countries
Oil steady near one-month highs as IEA, OPEC raise forecasts
Footage from Azerbaijani Zangilan's Agh Oyuq village (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan’s oil-producing company opens tender to buy pumps
Russia to finance modernization of 14 oil refineries
Azerbaijani currency rates for Apr.15
France's 1Q2021 chemical imports from Turkey rise in value
Iranian currency rates for April 15
Azerbaijan sees growth in securities market
Minsk Group worked ineffectively for 30 years on Karabakh - MP
SOCAR, Belneftekhim to expand opportunities in oil products’ output, sale
Azerbaijan continues to compensate workers employed in COVID-hit areas
Thailand reports record daily rise with 1,543 new coronavirus cases
Geely's EV unit Polestar raises $550 million
Iran resumes flights to UK
Uzbekistan talks projects implemented on improving country's energy sector
Central Bank of Iran continues its foreign currency policies
US IDC eyes organizing int'l forum on applying best 'smart' practices in Azerbaijan
Yemen's Houthis say they attacked Aramco, Patriot targets in Jazan
Iran stresses achieving $20-billion trade with Iraq
Georgian Bus and Omnibus Express to transport passengers free of charge in movement-restricted period
Daily COVID-19 case count at 2,641 in Kazakhstan
EU helping in modernization of Georgian Railway
Turkey provides Libya with 150,000 doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine
S.Korea reports 698 more COVID-19 cases, 112,117 in total
Construction of Russian helicopter service center in Azerbaijan running steadily - trade representative
One dead, 12 missing after vessel capsizes in Gulf of Mexico
NATO allies to leave Afghanistan along with U.S
Belgium to ease COVID-19 restrictions
Instagram launches test where users can choose to see likes
Japan seeks to establish agricultural working groups in Georgia
Azerbaijan's First VP gives instructions in regards to Tunar Bagırov suffering from SMA
Turkey reports over 62,000 COVID-19 cases
UK records another 2,491 coronavirus cases, 38 deaths
Turkmenbashi Oil Refineries opens tender for purchase of metal products
Georgian company eyes building of airdrome in outskirts of Tbilisi
Kazakh-German oil extracting JV opens tender to buy pumps
Iran launches National Productivity Network to connect businesses
Kazakhstan’s subsoil users subsidize domestic market of fuel and lubricants to keep gasoline prices
Production of Sputnik V vaccine launched in Serbia
Armenian gov't didn’t want foreigners to see devastation, their hatred to Azerbaijanis - President Aliyev
Georgia tightens entry rules for Indian visitors due to pandemic
Brent prices above $66/bbl first time from March 18
Uzbek deputy PM, Saudi Arabian minister discuss implementation of joint projects
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry responds to French ambassador to Armenia
Uzbekistan’s Mubarek gas processing plant launches sodium sulfide production
Azerbaijani PM, Turkish ambassador hold meeting
Ucell launching 5G in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent
Kazakhstan’s Kazgeology company announces number of ongoing investment projects
Working visit of President of Belarus in Azerbaijan ends (PHOTO)
Gold and foreign exchange reserves decrease in Uzbekistan
Ukraine, Azerbaijan may increase potential for using renewable energy
Football Federations of Turkic Speaking States sign Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation
Georgia, Tajikistan contribute to intensification of cargo transit
Austria, Georgia eye to implement projects in animal husbandry
Iran's Palayesh Parsian Sepehr Company to receive large revenues
Kazakhstan to allocate funds for development of processing industry
Azerbaijan plans to organize transit cargo transportation through Turkey to EU countries
Azerbaijan's State Committee on Property Issues holds new auction on privatization
Germany's economic institutes cut GDP 2021 growth forecast to 3.7%
Indian PM Modi addresses Inaugural Session of Raisina Dialogue
Kazakhstan taking measures to boost drinking water reserves
Ukraine ready to help Azerbaijan to restore liberated territories - Deputy PM
COVID-19 pandemic hinders Georgian Airways to increase number of flights
First train with feed products arrives in Azerbaijan from Turkey via TURKUAZ project
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 17
UNDP supports Georgia's adoption of legislation on environmental liability
Export of cotton from Azerbaijan greatly increases from Jan. through Feb. 2021
United Nations concludes field mission to conflict-affected districts of Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Iran to stop importing catalysts in petrochemical sector
Azerbaijan shares updated info on COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
All news