Bashar Al-assad
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WikiLeaks: Assad Said that Syria Would Enter War if Israel Invades Lebanon

A leaked U.S. Embassy cable published exclusively in Al-Akhbar on Thursday reported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as saying that Syria would enter a war with Israel should it invade Lebanon.

Assad informed his biographer American journalist David Lesch that the image of the invincible Israeli army was destroyed during the July 2006 war, said the WikiLeaks cable dated July 25, 2006.

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Assad, Franjieh Discuss Govt Formation Efforts, Arab Situations

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad held talks Wednesday in Damascus with Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh, Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported.

Talks tackled "the efforts being exerted to form a new Lebanese cabinet and the situations in the Arab region," according to SANA.

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Syrian Police Disperse Protest at Damascus Mosque

Plainclothes Syrian security men broke up an apparently spontaneous demonstration by dozens of people after Friday prayers at the main mosque in Damascus, Agence France Presse reporters witnessed.

"God is greatest," a crowd inside the men's section of the Omayyad mosque started chanting in crescendo after prayers.

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Report: Hof Visited Syria over Syrian-Israeli Peace

Frederick Hof, the assistant of U.S. Special Envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell, visited Damascus lately and discussed with Syrian officials the Syrian-Israeli peace track, An-Nahar reported Wednesday.

Israel's defense minister said Monday that his country would be ready to talk peace with Syria if Damascus was serious about doing so — a sharp departure from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's go-slow approach to peacemaking while the Middle East is in turmoil.

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Saudi-Syrian Summit in Riyadh Next Week to Discuss Lebanon among Other Issues

Informed Syrian circles revealed on Thursday that a summit between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi King Abdullah may be held in Riyadh next week.

The Italian news agency AKI reported that should the meeting take place, it will be non-political, but it will be a congratulatory visit by Assad to the monarch after the latter’s recovery from his health setback.

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Assad, Aoun Discuss Lebanese Situation, Efforts to Form New Govt

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and visiting Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun held talks Wednesday on the situation in Lebanon and the ongoing efforts to form a new Lebanese government, Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported.

Talks also tackled "the latest developments in the Arab and regional arenas," SANA said.

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Assad, Erdogan to 'Exert All Efforts Possible for Lebanon Stability, Security'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday "agreed to exert all efforts possible for the stability, security and prosperity of Lebanon," Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported.

Erdogan was in Syria to take part in a landmark ceremony for a joint "Friendship Dam" to be built over the Orontes river at the border between the two countries.

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Assad Says EU Must Accept Turkey as Member

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the European Union must accept Turkey as a member if it wants to avoid being a "Christian club," in an interview with a German newspaper.

Asked whether Turkey should join the E.U., Assad told Germany's top-selling Bild newspaper: "They simply must ask Turkey to become a member because they need it as an Islamic country so the E.U. does not become a Christian club."

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Jumblat: We Can Do without New May 7, Remarks of Sayyed, Aoun Rejected

Lebanon can do without armed clashes similar to those of May 7, 2008 and the recent remarks of former head of General Security, Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun "are rejected," Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat said Thursday.

In an interview with LBC TV, Jumblat said that "the presumptions presented" by Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon were "very important," noting that "the tribunal's issue can be solved between (Premier Saad)Hariri and Nasrallah, so there's no need to topple it (STL) through street" riots.

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