Syrian foreign minister in London talks as spokesman condemns raid

Other News Materials 27 October 2008 17:25 (UTC +04:00)

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem was holding talks with is British counterpart David Miliband in London Monday, but a planned joint news conference was called off following reports of a US raid into Syrian territory, the Foreign Office said.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said the press conference had been abandoned because both sides had been concerned that it would be dominated by questions about the US raid, reproted dpa.

Commentators said it would clearly have been awkward for Miliband, as the representative of the US' principal ally in Iraq, to have appeared alongside al-Muallem at a time when Syria was condemning what it described as an act of "serious aggression" by the US.

Earlier Monday, Syria's press attache at its London's embassy, Jihad Makdissi, called the incident "an outrageous crime and an act of aggression."

"If (the US has) any proof of any insurgency, instead of applying the law of the jungle and penetrating, unprovoked, a sovereign country, they should come to the Syrians first and share this information," Makdissi told the BBC.

He warned that Syria would "respond accordingly in the proper way."