Specter, Kennedy visit Syria on peace trip

Dec. 31, 2007 at 11:50 AM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- U. S. Sen. Arlen Specter and U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy visited Damascus to urge Syria to mend fences with Israel.

Specter, a Pennsylvania Reublican, and Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, visited the Syrian capital after a stop in Israel on a peacemaking trip aimed at diminishing decades of antagonism between the two nations, the Los Angeles Times said Monday.

Israel hopes to draw Syria from its alliance with Iran and the militant Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which oppose the Jewish state, the Times said.

"The time is right now, and prospects are very good," Specter said Sunday. "The parties will continue talks through intermediaries, and it's my hope and expectation at some point, if preliminary progress has been made, the U.S. government would be ready too."

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