Britain, Syria cancel joint news conference

Britain's government has declined to comment on the Sunday raid, saying the matter is an issue between Syria and the United States.

October 27, 2008 15:25
1 minute read.
Britain, Syria cancel joint news conference

Walid Moallem 248 88. (photo credit: AP [file])


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A planned joint news conference by the foreign ministers of Britain and Syria was scrapped Monday following a US raid inside Syrian territory. Britain's government has declined to comment on the Sunday raid, saying the matter is an issue between Syria and the United States. However, "Both ourselves and the Syrians agreed that it would not be appropriate to hold a formal press conference as planned," a British Foreign Office official said, on condition of anonymity in keeping with government policy. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem is instead expected to hold a news conference on his own following talks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, said Jihad Makdissi, a spokesman at Syria's London embassy. The US government said the raid was to target suspected al-Qaida-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq. Syria says the strike killed eight people, including four children, and was an unjustifiable violation of international law. Makdissi said it was "outrageous" that a U.N. Security Council member had carried out the attack and accused the United States of "applying the law of the jungle." "In the midst of the crisis they did not do this sort of act of aggression. Why now when the security situation in Iraq is getting better?" he told BBC radio. "It's unjustifiable." Makdissi said the attack would be on the agenda when al-Muallem meets with Miliband. British Prime Minster Gordon Brown's spokesman Michael Ellam said the British government had no comment on the raid. "This is a matter for the Syrian and the US authorities," Ellam said.

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