Syria cancels Palestinian leader's visit

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Syria has postponed a planned visit by the Palestinian President amid controversy about his decision to suspend efforts to have Israeli officials prosecuted for war crimes over last winter's military offensive in Gaza.

A Syrian official refused to specify the exact reason for postponing Mahmoud Abbas's trip, which was scheduled to begin today. Yesterday's decision came a day after Syria criticised Mr Abbas's Palestinian Authority for backing down against Israel.

Late last week, the United Nations Human Rights Council considered a resolution to send a UN report on war crimes committed during the Gaza war to the UN General Assembly for possible action. Instead, Palestinian diplomats said they would agree to delay the vote until March.