Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, who is in Damascus to attend the funeral of the late Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad, held a press conference today and expressed optimism that affairs in Syria would proceed smoothly. In response to a question, he ruled out mediation by Saudi Arabia between Syria and the United States, since the Kingdom is fully supportive of Syria in its stance for restoration of its legitimate rights, and urges the United States to use its offices to convince Israel to accept that position.
Concerning Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Prince Saud stressed that the Syrian and Lebanese negotiations with Israel should remain on the same track. As for an Arab Summit, he said that Saudi Arabia was ready at any time and for any venue, but preferred such a meeting to be well prepared. He referred to the initiative recently taken by the countries of the Damascus Declaration.