The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, has met his Syrian counterpart Farouq al-Shara to discuss the stalled Syrian-Israeli peace talks and ways to improve bilateral relations.This content was published on February 29, 2000 - 09:11
The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, has met his Syrian counterpart Farouq al-Shara to discuss the stalled Syrian-Israeli peace talks and ways to improve bilateral relations.
"We are interested in getting a comprehensive picture on the status of the Middle East peace process from the Syrian officials," Deiss told reporters before meeting Shara.
"We maintain good ties and we are sure that with joint efforts we can develop and promote relations between Syria and Switzerland," he said.
Syria's peace talks with Israel resumed in December after a four-year break, but were suspended in January after both states failed to agree which issues should be discussed first.
Deiss will travel on to Lebanon on Thursday, where he is scheduled to hold talks with the Lebanese president, Emile Lahoud. He is also expected to sign a bilateral agreement on the protection and promotion of investments.
Deiss has already spent four days in Egypt. The visit was overshadowed by the dispute over compensation for the families of the victims of the 1997 Luxor massacre, in which 36 Swiss tourists were killed.
From staff and wire reports