Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Joe Biden our point-man in Damascus ?

Al-Hayat this morning (Wednesday November 22) says a senior person from the office of Senator Joe Biden is in Damascus trying to figure out what's going on.

What has ruffled important feathers is the idea of a three-way meeting between Ahmedinejad, Talabani, and Assad, subject of news reports two days ago, that said this was planned for Tehran on Saturday November 25. Al-Hayat says a source in Damascus rules out the possibility of a three-way meeting "within two days" (which would be Friday), adding this was a pre-existing proposal that is "still under study". The Baghdad newspaper Al-Mada says (1) Talabani's office confirms he will be in Tehran on Saturday, at the head of a big Iraqi delegation, for talks with his Iranian counterpart; and (2) an Iranian report published by AFP says Assad has been invited to come to Tehran on Sunday, implying this has been accepted. (3) Since the Talabani visit is expected to last for three days, there is a good chance of the three of them getting together during that period of time. But Al-Mada says there isn't confirmation or denial from Damascus about the Assad part of this. Al-Mada says a US State Dept person welcomed the Talabani visit to Tehran, but this part of the Al-Mada piece doesn't mention Assad.

Joe Biden's office only returns calls originating in the great state of Delaware, but who knows, maybe he won't be taking Delawarians into his confidence either.


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