Thursday, June 26, 2008

Syria: Damascus reviewing ties with Iran

Damascus, 26 June (AKI) - Syria may be 'reconsidering' its relationship with Iran, according to unnamed French government officials.

In a report published on Thursday in pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, French officials said Iran and Syria do not agree on a number of issues and that may result in a rift. According to French sources, Syria opposes the idea of a confessional Iraqi state under Iran's influence. French officials also claim another point of contention is Lebanon, where they say Syria does not want any further involvement in the fragile political situation or to strengthen the Shia militia and political organisation, Hezbollah. The French officials said Syria is more interested in strengthening and developing its ties with the European Union, western countries and negotiating with Israel. The regime of President Bashar al-Assad is also ready to sign an agreement with the EU, which would become a tool for Syria to normalise its relations with the body and create political, trade, social, cultural and security links.

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