US Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, on Wednesday (14 December) left Syria for Saudi Arabia on the last leg of his Middle East tour.
US Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, on Wednesday (14 December) left Syria for Saudi Arabia on the last leg of his Middle East tour. In a brief statement to reporters at Damascus airport on his talks with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and other officials, he said the two sides had a through discussion of their respective views on peace in the region. he said he was going to Saudi Arabia to discuss Middle East developments.
SYNOPSIS: Earlier, Mr Vance visited the Lebanese capital of Beirut during the course of his six-nation tour.
The Secretary of State inspected a guard of honour at the Babdaa palace before holding talks with President Elias Sarkis of the Lebanon. This is the third time that Mr Vance has visited the Middle East this year.
Mr Vance said that the government of the United States placed more importance on the current peace talks in the Egyptian capital of Cairo than on reconvening the Geneva peace conference.
Mr Vance also visited Amman and went to see King Hussein of Jordan at the E1 Hashimieh Palace in the capital. Before the meeting, informed sources said he would try to persuade Jordan to attend the Cairo talks despite much Arab opposition.
But King Hussein told Mr Vance that his country would not take part in the Cairo talks. He said he would go to Geneva, but not to Cairo. Jordanian officials said the monarch had again stressed Arab unity. He made clear Jordan's policy aimed at restoring cohesion among the Arabs, who have been divided by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace initiative.