Hurd to visit Syria

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The Independent Online
Douglas Hurd will pay his first visit as Foreign Secretary to Syria next week, writes Annika Savill.

It will be the highest-level British visit to Syria since diplomatic relations were resumed three years ago, and will allow Britain to claim it is playing a role in the Middle East peace process. Mr Hurd will encourage the 'Syrian track' in the process, and hear the Syrians' wish to extract a price for any deal in the shape of a summit between Presidents Hafez al-Assad and Bill Clinton.

Britain resumed ties with Damascus after a four-year break over Syria's role in the attempted bombing of an El Al airliner.