Syria appoints ambassador to France

The announcement comes a day before French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country holds the European Union presidency, is due in Damascus for talks with Syrian leaders.

Syria appoints ambassador to France
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has named Lamia Shakkour as ambassador to France after months of the post being vacant, the official SANA news agency said on Sunday.

Shakkour was sworn in on Sunday before Assad, the news agency added.

"President Assad wished Mrs. Shakkour success in her mission," it said.

The post has been vacant since the previous ambassador, Siba Nasser, retired 18 months ago and was not replaced. Charge d'affaires Chaghaf Kayali has in the meantime handled diplomatic issues between the two countries.

The announcement comes a day before French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country holds the European Union presidency, is due in Damascus for talks with Syrian leaders.

The minister's visit Monday to Damascus will be the first by a French government member since former president Jacques Chirac broke off ties in response to the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected in September in the Syrian capital, the first visit to Damascus by a French leader since Chirac went there in 2002.

In July, Assad visited Paris, marking Syria's return to the international scene after years of West isolation.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ağustos 2008, 14:50
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