France resumes contacts with Syria

Other News Materials 22 April 2008 16:07 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has met with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Muallem, in Kuwait, ending a freeze on bilateral contacts imposed by Paris in December, the French Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Kouchner and al-Muallem met on the fringe of a conference on Iraq held in Kuwait. The two men discussed primarily regional issues, "particularly the political crisis in Lebanon," the foreign ministry said in a statement issued in Paris.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy broke off diplomatic contact with Damascus in December after accusing Syria of blocking a political solution to the Lebanese crisis.

Sarkozy said links would be restored only when France had proof that Syria was not blocking progress towards installing a consensus president in Lebanon.

Lebanon has been without a president since November, as rival factions argue over who should fill the post.