US to Syria: Stop Hizbullah arms

May 20, 2010 19:52

Top diplomat in Washington says Damascus crucial to ME peace.

1 minute read.

Syrian President Bashar Assad (right) with Iranian

assad ahmadinejad 311. (photo credit: AP)

A top US diplomat on Thursday urged Syria to do more to prevent arms shipments to Hizbullah and stem the flow of terrorists into Iraq.

Assistant US Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman said that while relations remain uneasy, Syria was important to achieving a full Arab-Israeli settlement.

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He told reporters that Washington wants to influence Damascus because of its ties to Iran and other US foes in the region.

Feltman said that because Syria has the ear of Hizbullah, Iran and Hamas, the Obama administration felt it must make its own views known to Damascus to ensure peace and security in the region.

The US is also acting to encourage Hizbullah moderates.

In related news, Lebanese Prime Minister Saaad Hariri met Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday, in preparation for a visit Washington set for next week.

Syria recently signed a large arms deal with Russia and is said to be considering buying a Russian nuclear reactor.

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