Yemen mediates between Syria, U.S.

Nov. 17, 2005 at 9:47 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Yemen tried to bridge the gap between Syria, Washington and Paris to contain tensions threatening regional stability and security, news reports said.

September 26, a pro-government daily, quoted official sources as saying Thursday Yemeni efforts centered on narrowing differences in order to secure a continuation of Syrian-U.S.-French dialogue "to serve stability and security in the region."

Washington and Paris are leading the efforts at the U.N. Security Council to discover the truth behind the Feb. 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

A U.N.-commissioned inquiry led by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis named six Syrian security officials as suspects and a new Security Council resolution urged Damascus to cooperate with the international investigators or face "further action."

The paper said Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh received a letter from his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, explaining Syria's stance on the inquiry.

News reports suggested Saleh carried a letter from Assad to U.S. President Bush during his visit to Washington Nov. 10, but U.S. officials denied receiving any message from Damascus.

Saudi daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Thursday Bush and Saleh discussed regional issues, including the Syrian case and that Bush underscored the importance of Syria's cooperation with the inquiry to uncover the truth about Hariri's assassination.

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