WASHINGTON – Syria’s ambassador to the United States denied on Monday a report that Damascus was ready to help Washington track down Al Qaeda cells in Lebanon.
“No, this is untrue,” Ambassador Imad Moustapha told CNN television, rejecting a report by Britain’s Sky News television that Syria was prepared to tell the United States the whereabouts of Al Qaeda cells in Lebanon.
“What we have repeatedly said is since September 11 (2001) the United States and Syria did cooperate together on Al Qaeda and other extremist fundamentalist groups. However, this is not happening anymore,” he added.
Moustapha also said US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s surprise visit to Lebanon had been unproductive.
“Actually, secretary Rice did not do anything in Beirut,” Moustapha told CNN television after the chief US diplomat held crisis talks in Beirut and Jerusalem.
“She only repeated the Israeli dictates and demands,” Moustapha said.
Good to hear, although as it almost certainly does not stem from any understanding of jihadist goals and perspectives, it could shift anytime the realpolitik winds change.