Syrian ambassador to US says his country should not attend Annapolis

Syria's ambassador to the United States belittled a Mideast peace conference that the Bush administration is trying to organize as a "waste," saying that he would counsel his country against attending it. "We don't seriously believe that this is a peace conference that will lead to anywhere," Ambassador Imad Moustapha said at a public affairs forum in San Francisco on Wednesday. No proposals had been circulated beforehand to lay the groundwork for progress at the gathering in Annapolis, Maryland, Moustapha said, raising questions about how serious Washington is about the conference. "Forgive us if we deduce that this is only about a photo opportunity and about people in Washington, D.C., telling their electorate, 'Look, don't accuse us of only starting wars; we're working for peace in the Middle East,"' the ambassador said.