Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.
Page 2 of 2   <      

Pelosi Rebuffs Criticism of Syria Visit

But there were some warnings against high expectations.

Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, described the visit as a "positive step" but said "it does not necessarily mean that the Bush administration would suddenly change its position" from Syria.


U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, reviews an honor guard before meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in his home, in Beirut, Lebanon Monday, April 2, 2007. Pelosi met with Lebanese officials Monday on a stop in Beirut as part of a fact-finding trip to the Middle East that has drawn criticism from the White House because it includes a visit to neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Tawil)
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, reviews an honor guard before meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in his home, in Beirut, Lebanon Monday, April 2, 2007. Pelosi met with Lebanese officials Monday on a stop in Beirut as part of a fact-finding trip to the Middle East that has drawn criticism from the White House because it includes a visit to neighboring Syria. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Tawil) (Mahmoud Tawil - AP)

In comments to the state-run Al-Thawra daily published Tuesday, he said the visit should be a "reminder that even though we might disagree on politics, we should remain diplomatically engaged in dialogue to reach some understandings."

Pelosi is traveling with a delegation of U.S. lawmakers, including the first Muslim member of Congress, Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

In Israel, Pelosi said she would tell Syrian leaders that Israel will talk peace with them only if Syria stops supporting Palestinian militants. She has said she will also talk to the Syrians about Iraq, their role in neighboring Lebanon and their support for Lebanon's Hezbollah militants.

She accused the White House of singling out her Syria visit for criticism.

"It's interesting because three of our colleagues, who are all Republicans, were in Syria yesterday and I didn't hear the White House speaking out about that," Pelosi said Monday, referring to the Sunday meeting of Reps. Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts and Robert Aderholt with Assad in Damascus.

"I think that it was an excellent idea for them to go," said Pelosi. "And I think it's an excellent idea for us to go, as well."


<       2

© 2007 The Associated Press