EU Foreign Policy Chief Solana Arrives in Syria for Peace Talks

Visit is first leg in a four-day regional tour that will also bring Solana to the PA and Israel.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana arrived on Sunday in Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al Muallim to discuss means to resume the peace process in the region.

The visit is the first leg in a four-day tour of the region that will also take Solana to Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Egypt.

Following his meetings in Damascus, Solana is expected to hold a joint conference before he departs later Sunday for Israel.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday said United Nations inspectors are analyzing further evidence taken from a nuclear research plant in Damascus where unexplained uranium traces were found.

But the International Atomic Energy Agency said Syria was still blocking follow-up access to the desert site of what U.S. intelligence reports said was a nascent, North Korean-designed nuclear reactor meant to yield atomic bomb fuel, before Israel bombed it to pieces in 2007.

In June, the Vienna-based IAEA said particles of processed uranium showed up in swipe samples taken by inspectors at the research reactor in Damascus and that it was checking for a link to traces retrieved from the bombed Dair Alzour site.