Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz met in Jeddah today with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is on a state visit to the Kingdom.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and cooperation, the latest developments in the Arab world (in particular the Palestinian issue and the situation in Iraq), and other Islamic and international issues.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia urged Syria to cooperate with the UN probe into Lebanese ex-premier Rafik Hariri’s murder to prevent “any harm” coming to Damascus, the Egyptian president’s spokesman said Wednesday.
A U.N. resolution in October threatened further action against Syria if it did not cooperate, and this could lead to sanctions either against individuals or the country as a whole.
The U.N. probe has already implicated senior Syrian officials and their Lebanese allies in the truck bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others in Beirut on February 14.
Last week, former Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam said Assad had delivered “very, very harsh words” to Hariri before the bombing. On Monday, the U.N. commission probing the murder said it had asked to interview Assad and his Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara.
Khaddam’s remarks are likely to intensify international pressure on Syria’s government.
A U.N. interim report in October said Shara had given the commission “false information” by describing a meeting between Assad and Hariri as friendly, contrary to several Lebanese witnesses who said the president had threatened Hariri.
Syria has already strongly denied any role in the murder and dismissed as politically motivated the findings of the U.N. probe. Hariri’s killing drew international condemnation which forced Damascus to withdraw its troops from Lebanon in April.
The United States — which accuses Damascus of not doing enough to stop foreign fighters from crossing into Iraq and of supporting Palestinian and Lebanese militants — has also piled pressure on Assad’s government to cooperate with the United Nations.