British FM sees 'constructive role' for Syria

Syria can play "a constructive role" in the stalled Middle East peacemaking process, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Tuesday. Speaking to reporters in Damascus after holding talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, Miliband also warned that rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel would hurt Syria's role in the region and diminish chances of achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Miliband is the first senior British official to visit Syria since former Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit in 2001. Syria is a major player in the Palestinian conflict as it hosts the exiled leaders of radical Palestinian groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.