Solana in Damascus satisfied with Syria-Israel talks
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana arrived in Syria late Wednesday, where he was received by the Syrian assistant foreign minister at Damascus airport, dpa reported.
Upon arrival, Solana said that his visit to Syria is a follow up to what has been achieved in the Syrian-European relations. He also expressed his satisfaction with the indirect negotiations between Syria and Israel.
During the visit, Solana will hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Vice President Farouq al-Shara'a and Foreign Minister Waleed al-Muallem. Solana is expected to meet Assad on Thursday.
The talks will tackle the latest developments in the region, the frozen Syrian-European partnership agreement, and the indirect Israeli-Syrian peace talks, which have been brokered by Turkey.
EU-Syrian relations were frozen after the assassination of Lebanese premier Rafik al-Hariri in 2005 despite Syrian denials of any involvement.
Relations were revived after the Lebanese political factions reached a consensus to solve their internal differences and after the establishment of diplomatic relations between Syria and Lebanon last week.
"We have a long-standing position that aims at reaching a comprehensive peace process in the region, the Europeans would like to have vital role in this process," said Solana, whose last visit to Damascus was in March 2007.
Solana's five-day tour started on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates, where he met UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The EU chief also visited Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Solana had met with Muallem on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York about a month ago.