Sunday, April 01, 2007

Israeli acting president defends Pelosi Syria trip

Israeli acting president defends Pelosi Syria trip

Israel's acting president defended on Sunday U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned visit to Syria, a trip the White House described as a bad idea.

Pelosi, speaking at a dinner hosted by Acting President Dalia Itzik, said she would raise with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad the issue of three captive Israeli soldiers, two held by Lebanon's Hezbollah group and one by Palestinian militants. "Your expected visit to Damascus has naturally touched off a political debate in your country, and of course, here," Itzik said in televised remarks.

"I believe in your worthy intentions. Perhaps a step, seen as unpopular at this stage ... will clarify to the Syrian people and leadership they must abandon the axis of evil (and) stop supporting terrorism and giving shelter to (terrorist) headquarters," said Itzik, a member of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's centrist Kadima party.

It gets worse.
Pelosi, who met Olmert earlier in the day, held aloft during her dinner speech in parliament replicas of the dog-tags of the three captive soldiers. "They (the dog-tags) are in my office, I carry them with me today, with the promise that we must never rest until they are all safely at home. And yes, I will mention this to the president of Syria," said Pelosi, the top House Democrat.