Solana to visit Syria in bid to solve Lebanon crisis

EU foreign policy chief Damascus visit focused on solving Lebanon crisis.

March 9, 2007 23:20
1 minute read.
jpost services and tools

jp.services1. (photo credit: )


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 analysis 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


EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Friday he will travel to Syria next week to discuss the crisis in Lebanon. The surprise visit will be the first by a senior EU official to Damascus in more than two years. "I'll go to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and then to Syria," Solana said during a summit of EU leaders in Brussels. "The Council has mandated me to undertake this trip." His spokeswoman Cristina Gallach said Solana will visit Riyadh on Monday and Beirut on Tuesday. The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri two years ago angered many in Europe and caused a lasting rift in relations between Damascus and Brussels. No high-level delegation EU has visited Damascus since 2004. "We never cut relations, they were never frozen, but they were very, very cold," Gallach said. The EU has repeatedly criticized Syria for being a destabilizing influence in Lebanon, where it backs Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shiite group that battled Israeli forces last summer and has been demanding the resignation of Lebanon's Western-backed prime minister. A statement released Friday by EU leaders expressed the bloc's backing for Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. French President Jacques Chirac, who also attended the summit, said he approved Solana's mission. "He leaves with a clear message which has a consensus (at the summit). We decided that Europe would talk in one voice, that of Mr. Solana," Chirac told reporters. Gallach said Solana would tell the Syrians "the role the EU would like them to play to be a constructive and stabilizing influence in Lebanon." Solana's tour is also intended to show support for Saudi Arabia's efforts overcoming intra-Palestinian rivalries and helping heal the emerging divide between Muslim Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East, she said. "Saudi Arabia is also very engaged in unblocking the political stalemate in Lebanon between the majority and Hizbullah (and) we hope this trip will assist this dynamic," Gallach said.

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

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri visits the flagship of UNIFIL Maritime Task Force at Beirut Port
July 17, 2019
Lebanese PM Hariri: Lebanon to increase naval capabilities


Cookie Settings