Politics

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Pelosi in Syria: Peacemaker or Bungler?

April 04, 2007 04:19 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi carries a message from Israel to Syria, prompting critics to accuse her of undermining U.S. foreign policy.

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On the second stage of her Middle East tour, after visiting Israel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Pelosi said that she carried word from Israel that Prime Minister Olmert sought to resume peace talks with Syria. She reported that Assad responded positively to that news.

Pelosi's visit has proved controversial. Syria is on the State Department list of terrorist sponsors, and Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Syria since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Critics argue that Pelosi’s actions weaken U.S. foreign policy. President Bush said meeting with Assad sends “mixed signals” to a state sponsor of terror.

Relations between the United States and Syria deteriorated after the February 2005 assassination of ex-Lebanese president Rafik Hariri. The international community suspects that Syria was involved in his killing.  U.S. officials also believe that militants are crossing the Syrian border into Iraq.

However, the Pelosi delegation cites the 2006 bipartisan Iraq Study Group as giving mandate for talks with Syria.

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