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Middle East

Assad in Amman for talks with Jordan king

Latest update : 2009-03-20

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived on Friday in Amman, Jordan, to meet with King Abdullah II. They discussed "bilateral ties, regional development and efforts to create a unified Arab position," according to a palace statement.

AFP - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived on Friday in Amman on his first visit to neighbouring Jordan in five years to discuss Middle East issues ahead of an Arab summit.

King Abdullah II received Assad at the Marka military airport, where the two leaders reviewed an honour guard.

They immediately went into talks on "bilateral ties, regional developments and efforts to create a unified Arab position to meet challenges facing the Arab nation," a palace statement said.

The trip comes as Arab leaders prepare to hold their annual summit, which will be hosted this year by Qatar on March 29-30.

Assad last visited Amman in 2004, while the king's last trip to Syria was in 2007.

Relations between the two countries have been strained in the past and last year Jordan sent a low-level delegation to the Arab summit which was held in Syria.

That decision followed in the footsteps of Arab powerhouses Egypt and Saudi Arabia, in apparent protest over Syria's political role in Lebanon and its close ties to Shiite Iran.

Date created : 2009-03-20