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Syria ready for fall meeting

Syria is ready to participate in the U.S.-sponsored meeting this fall promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“Syria will support and participate in any international conference for peace,” its foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem, said in Madrid on Tuesday after meeting Miguel Angel Moratinos, his Spanish counterpart. “The objectives, participants and grounds for such an initiative must be made clear.”

It is not clear whether the United States would welcome Syria’s participation. Outlining the conference last month, President Bush said participating nations must recognize Israel and reject terrorism. Syria does not have relations with Israel, although it has suggested it is ready for peace talks, and also backs terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

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