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News Brief


French President Nicholas Sarkozy will visit Syria.

The visit announced Wednesday and scheduled for Sept. 3 will continue the normalization of relations between the two countries.

Ties between France and Syria broke down when Jacques Chirac severed relations over the assassination of Lebanon former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Chirac accused Syria of involvement in the killing, which Syria denies.

The United States does not have relations with Syria, calling it a state sponsor of terrorism.

Assad visited France last month at Sarkozy’s invitation as part of a meeting to launch the Mediterranean Union. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was in Damascus on Monday, the day after Assad appointed a new Syrian ambassador to France , a post that has remained vacant for the last two years.

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