Syria, EU disagree on Assad's invitation to summit

Syria claimed on Tuesday that President Bashar Assad had already rejected an invitation to a Euro-Mediterranean summit the day before the European Union revealed that he was not going to be invited. Dakhlallah said the Syrian leader declined on Sunday "because Europe has not so far signed the Syrian-European partnership agreement." "Syria considers the signing of the EU-Syria On Monday, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, whose country now holds the European Union's rotating presidency, did not directly answer a reporter's question when asked if Assad had been invited to the summit. Straw responded instead that Syria's Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa was "being invited in the normal way to the Euro-Med meeting." Other EU officials confirmed Assad would be shunned.