Syrian President Bashar Assad was starting a visit Tuesday to Turkey, which Assad has said is trying to mediate between his country and Israel.
Syria's state news agency SANA said Assad was leaving on Tuesday for Turkey for talks on "regional issues of common interest." It did not specify when during the day he was traveling. His last visit to Turkey was in January 2004.
SANA said Turkey and Syria have a common goal of insuring stability in the region, "which is passing through a very delicate stage and is facing a lot of problems, mainly the situation in Iraq, the Palestinian issue and the Israeli occupation of Arab lands."