harriri in syria no longer seeking the Truth but...

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harriri in syria no longer seeking the Truth but...

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Hariri from Damascus: We Want Special Lebanese-Syrian Ties Based on Honesty

Prime Minister Saad Hariri said following talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Sunday that Beirut wants special relations with Damascus based on honesty and openness.
"We want special relations with Syria … based on honesty and openness," Hariri told reporters at the Lebanese embassy in Damascus after a new round of talks with Assad on Sunday.

Assad was keen on having honest ties based on mutual understanding, Hariri said at the end of his talks in Damascus. The meetings focused on what is in the interest of Lebanon and Syria and their peoples, the premier said.

"We want to build a better future between the two countries, a future that benefits both countries' peoples," Hariri said. "Serious steps taken by us and President Assad will be interpreted in several fields."

There should be stronger economic and trade relations between the two countries and improved ties between state institutions, the premier added.

Asked if he had discussed with Assad about Syrian court requests to question Lebanese officials, Hariri said: "We didn't discuss about the issue. I believe this issue should be solved by involved agencies."

A Lebanese source told Voice of Lebanon radio that the Hariri-Assad meeting stressed the "personal nature" of the visit. The two men didn't discuss the court requests, the source confirmed.

Lebanon wants the Golan heights to return to Syria and Damascus wants all Lebanese territories occupied by Israel to return to Lebanon, according to Hariri.

Asked about what message he would deliver to the March 14 forces following his visit to Syria, Hariri reiterated that he was the prime minister of all of Lebanon and his objective was to improve relations with Syria.

Hariri returned to Beirut following his press conference.

Arab diplomatic sources had told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that Hariri carried with him to Damascus a program based on "openness and reconciliation."

The sources added that the premier seeks to set up "transparent relations" between the two countries.

Hariri had also told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat before his visit to Damascus that "there was mutual willingness to overcome the past and look to the future." The PM stressed that he "spontaneously" decided to visit Damascus when he accepted to form the government.

Syria "is the closest state to Lebanon and its only neighbor," Hariri told al-Hayat.

Sources told An Nahar that Lebanon's fundamental demands were met before Hariri's visit to Damascus. They included the withdrawal of the Syrian army from Lebanon, recognition of Lebanon's sovereignty by opening embassies in the two countries and keeping the issue of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri's assassination away from the relations between Lebanon and Syria.

The sources added that there are still pending issues such as demarcation of the border, finding a solution to Palestinian arms outside refugee camps and the issue of Lebanese missing in Syria.

On Saturday, Assad gave Hariri a warm welcome at the capital's Tishrin palace.

They stressed the need to set up "privileged and strategic ties" between the two countries to overcome years of tensions, officials said.

The meeting helped "dispel the past (differences)," Syrian presidential adviser Buthaina Shaaban told reporters after the talks. "There is no doubt that the ice has been broken between the two sides," she said.

Shaaban also noted that Syria "broke with protocol" by inviting Hariri to stay at the Tishrin guest palace which is usually reserved for visiting monarchs and heads of state.

The two leaders discussed plans to mark their porous common border as well as "the challenges facing the two countries due to Israel's occupation of Arab land," Shaaban added.

Syria's state-run SANA news agency said Assad and Hariri discussed how to "bolster bilateral cooperation" and "ways of surmounting the negative effects which marred" ties in the past.

It quoted Hariri as saying his government was determined "to establish real and strategic ties with Syria," while Assad spoke of the need to promote "privileged and strategic ties between the two countries."(Naharnet-AFP)

Cute!!! what was cutter than his statements was his show of effection and photos of him making out with bashar on the M14 website :D

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