TheEuropean Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, held talks with Syrianleaders Wednesday on his first visit to
Solana's visit comes at the end of a three-day tour of the region, where hevisited
EU officials said the tour is aimed at resolving
It was their first meeting since a two-year French veto on direct talks with
The veto followed the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister RafiqHariri, which was widely blamed on
Before the talks, Solana said the European Union wanted to "see if wecan resume our relations with
Solana's trip is the latest in a string of visits by Western officials that
"Solana's visit today is a major step on the road to stabilizingArab-European relations,"
No details of the talks were immediately available but Solana is expected tohold a press conference later on Wednesday.
Ahead of the talks, an EU diplomat said Solana would tell the Syrians that,in exchange for an end to
The Western-backed Lebanese government is trying to end afour-month-old political crisis triggered by the resignation of six oppositionmembers from the government, largely over the cabinet's endorsement of a UNtribunal to try suspects in the Hariri murder.
The anti-Syrian parliamentary majority in
The opposition fears that the tribunal, which still has to win parliamentarybacking, may be used as a political tool.
EU officials acknowledge privately they have been looking for a way toresume talks with
Solana's visit comes after a top U.S. State Department official made thehighest-level visit to
"It is clear that
Solana traveled to
During the visit,
Israeli officials have recently expressed interest in the proposal, adoptedby the Arab League in 2002, while voicing some reservations.
The Arab League is due to re-launch the original plan at a summit in
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16