Obama says he's 'troubled' by Syrian behavior

US leader stresses that he continues to hope for progress on the diplomatic front with Damascus.

July 12, 2009 09:24
1 minute read.
Obama says he's 'troubled' by Syrian behavior

Ahmadinejad assad bff 248.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


US President Barack Obama is troubled by Syria's behavior but is hoping for progress in boosting ties with Damascus. In an interview to be screened Sunday on Sky News, Obama was asked by the British television channel if he would accept an invitation for direct talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus. "We've started to see some diplomatic contacts between the United States and Syria," Obama said in the interview recorded during his visit to Ghana on Saturday. "There are aspects of Syrian behavior that trouble us and we think that there is a way that Syria can be much more constructive on a whole host of these issues. "But, as you know, I'm a believer in engagement and my hope is that we can continue to see progress on that front," Obama said. In late June, the US State Department praised Syria for its "constructive role to promote peace and stability" as it announced plans to return an ambassador to Damascus after a four-year absence. The announcement represented a considerable warming in relations between the two countries, as the US has rejected the policy of isolation employed by the Bush administration in favor of one of engagement. A significant amount of the Sky interview was devoted to speaking about Africa, on which Obama said, "At some point despite [its] tragic history… we have to say that the days of colonialism are over, that Africa has the resources and the talent necessary to move forward and it's time to go ahead and get things done. "And for those of us in the West, he went on, "I think our obligation is to on the one hand say we are committed to working with you and we will provide you assistance where possible." On Afghanistan, the US president called for the creation of "an Afghan army, an Afghan Police," and said that the US should "work with the Pakistanis effectively, so that they are the ones who are really at the forefront of controlling their own countries." Hilary Leila Krieger and Herb Keinon contributed to this report

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

File: Jordan's King Abdullah II greets Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House in Washin
October 22, 2018
Is Israel’s position in region as secure as it looks?