The Obama administration is pressing Syria to resume long–stalled peace talks with Israel as part of its push for broad settlement between Arab countries and the Jewish state.Including two weeks ago.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met on Monday in New York with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al–Moallem to make the case for negotiations. The State Department said Clinton was the first secretary of state to meet Syria's top diplomat in three years, although special Mideast envoy George Mitchell has made several visits to Syria in the past year.
So how well has this diplomatic push worked on Syria?
From the Tehran Times:
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held a meeting with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Saturday.The US begs Syria for a bone, Syria slaps America in the face about as publicly as humanly possible - and no one says a word.
During the meeting, Ayatollah Khamenei told Assad that the United States’ efforts to undermine the resistance movement in the Middle East region will not bear fruit.
The Leader praised Syria for its strength and forbearance in the face of external pressure and called for the expansion of ties between Tehran and Damascus.
There are no two other countries in the region with such strong bilateral relations, and efforts should be made to make the best use of this 30-year-old experience, he stated.
The Syrian president said that Iran-Syria relations serve as a model for other regional countries, adding that Damascus will continue to increase its cooperation with Tehran.
Earlier in the day, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad awarded Iran's highest national medal, the Grand National Order of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to the Syrian president for his support of the Palestinian and Lebanese nations.
This medal is a sign of Iran’s profound gratitude to the Syrian government and nation for their serious efforts to establish peace in the region, Ahmadinejad said during a ceremony held at the Foreign Ministry.
If it were not for Syria's resistance, no country in the region would have been unaffected by the Zionist regime’s aggression, the Iranian president added.
Following the ceremony, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of an Iran-Syria free trade zone.
Iranian Industries and Mines Minister Ali-Akbar Mehrabian and the Syrian foreign minister also signed an MOU on increasing bilateral industrial relations.