Syrian officials are preparing for Monday's meeting in Geneva between President Hafez Assad and President Carter as if they were cramming for a final examination.
State-controlled newspapers are carrying daily editorials and analyses, most of them favorable to Carter. All three papers said that "Special importance is attached to the meeting."
Tishrin, a government newsaper, quoted from a letter that Carter sent Assad - to demonstrate the meeting's significance.
In an interview earlier this week. Information Minister Ahmed Iskandar Ahmed quoted from the same letter, but the identified the source. Both the Tishrin article and the Iskander interview saw the meeting as important because:
Carter wants a comprehensive Middle East settlement instead of the step-by-step negotiations favored by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Carter has promised to do his best to get a "just settlement."
He has given the Middle East top priority among his foreign policy goals.
Iskander said that a peace settlement "demands" that the United States pressure Israel to give up territory occupied since the 1967 war. In addition, the Palestinians must be recognized as equal participants in any peace conference, he said.
Assad said two weeks ago that he had been impressed by Carter's principles of ethics and justice.
He and his staff have been boning up on Carter's philosophy and his method of operation. They have asked the United States Information Service here to supply them with video tapes of the President's press conferences and speeches, and have requested copies of Carter's campaign book, "Why Not The Best?"