Syria likely to skip Annapolis


Syria reportedly plans to boycott next week’s Annapolis peace conference.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has decided not to send an emissary to the U.S.-hosted parley in protest of the absence of the Golan Heights dispute from the agenda, Al-Hayat reported Thursday.

But the London-based newspaper added that Damascus was not expected to announce its decision until after Friday’s meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said this week that the 2002 Arab League peace initiative would be pivotal for any future negotiations on the creation of a Palestinian state.

The Arab League initiative calls for the future Palestine to be founded in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and for Israel to return the Golan to Syria, in exchange for regional recognition of the Jewish state.

Syria and Saudi Arabia are the wild cards among some 40 invitees to Annapolis. Riyadh has yet to make clear if it will attend, or how senior its emissary will be.


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