02/28/2008, 00.00
JORDAN - SYRIA - LEBANON

Amman could join the boycott of the summit in Damascus

The idea emerged after a meeting of the king of Jordan with his counterpart in Saudi Arabia. The threat is aimed at pressuring Syria to clear the way for the election of the Lebanese president.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - Jordan could joined the group of Arab countries threatening to boycott the summit of the Arab League scheduled for Damascus at the end of March, to pressure Syria to consent to the election of the Lebanese president.

Official sources in Amman have made it known that King Abdullah II of Jordan has spoken with Saudi King Abdullah on the subject of the situation in Lebanon.  Meeting in Riyadh (in the photo), the two monarchs and declared their agreement that it is "important that the Lebanese people choose a president through consensus and that the Arab League plan to solve the Lebanese crisis was successful".

Beyond the diplomatic language, the meeting appears linked to the Saudi initiative to pressure Damascus in view of the summit on March 20-30.  It is believed that Syria intends to use the meeting to obtain agreement from the Arab countries to put the restitution of the Golan Heights, conquered by Israel in the war of 1967, among the conditions of a peace agreement with the Jewish state.  The threat of a boycott is therefore aimed at a matter that is highly sensitive for Syria, in addition to representing a serious failure on an international level and the increased isolation of the regime of Bashar al Assad.  The Assad government is expected to tell its Lebanese allies - Hezbollah first among them - to accept without reservations the plan of the Arab League, and thus permit the election of the president.

The Saudi threat - which in a "conciliatory" hypothesis could be made concrete in the sending of a low-level delegation - has seen the adherence of some Gulf countries, and probably of Egypt, and thus of the main representatives of the Arab League. (PD)

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