Report: Assad, Suleiman set to declare diplomatic ties

Lebanese president expected in Damascus on Wednesday for first time since elected.

Assad supporters 298 88 (photo credit: AP)
Assad supporters 298 88
(photo credit: AP)
For the first time since elected Lebanonese president, Michel Suleiman is expected to arrive in Damascus for a two-day visit on Wednesday, where he will meet with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad. Senior Syrian sources told the Syrian daily Al-Watan that they expected the visit to produce positive results, namely the announcement of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries for the first time since their establishment some 60 years ago. Last month, during the Mediterranean conference in Paris, Suleiman threatened that should diplomacy fail to return "Israeli-occupied land" to Lebanon, the Lebanese army (LAF) will take it by force. The Lebanese president stressed, however, that the military option was the last resort. Meanwhile, Assad is also expected to travel to Moscow in the coming days where he is slated to meet Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Russian diplomatic sources told Al Watan that they did not believe the war in Georgia would bring about a postponement of the visit, Assad's third in the Russian capital.