It was a busy week of hospitality for Bashar Al-Assad. As visitors from America and China graced the halls of the presidential palace in Damascus, longer-staying guests continued to depend on Assad’s welcome and shelter to make trouble across Syria’s borders.
Senator John Kerry, still in presidential campaign mode, visited Syria last weekend and came away bearing apparent good news: Syria would like to open a new page in its relations with the U.S. Kerry arrived in Damascus immediately following the departure of U.S. Under Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Armitage had been there to discuss Syria’s failure to prevent armed supporters of the former Iraqi regime from entering Iraq and launching attacks against American troops and Iraqis. Assad told Armitage that Syria is doing its best to control the terrorists and that Syrians are largely uninvolved in Iraq. Imad Mustafa, Syria’s ambassador to the United States, who also attended the meeting, asked Americans to stop their criticism of Syria in the media since “they have nothing to support” it. Continue reading