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Will Syria Participate in the Middle East summit?

U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa, a California Republican of Lebanese descent, will try to convince Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Asad to attend the upcoming summit meeting between President George W. Bush and leaders of various Arab nations. This, according to the Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Al-Watan. According to the report, Issa will make his plea during a meeting in the Syrian capital on Sunday in which, “He will meet president Bashar Al-Asad and talk with him about the Palestinian issue and the “Road Map;” the Iraqi issue; and relations between Syria and the U.S.”

The daily’s sources made the connection between Issa’s imminent visit and the two summits that President Bush will attend in the first week of June. The first summit will include Bush and Arab leaders; while the second one will consist of Bush, Israeli and Palestinian delegations. “Issa’s visit to Syria will try to achieve Al-Asad’s consent to participate in the Arab-American summit”, added the daily’s sources.

[Ed. Note: The Saudi daily identified Issa as being “Lebanese-born”, although the Congressman lists his birthplace as Cleveland, Ohio.]