Syria confirms visit of high-level U.S. officials
Damascus, Oct 19 (Prensa Latina) Reliable Syrian sources confirmed on Monday what was published by the US newspaper The Wall Street Journal last August regarding a visit by two senior White House officials to Damascus.
Sources cited by the semi-official newspaper Al Watan, reported that Roger Carstens, Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, and Kash Patel, deputy assistant to President Trump and top White House counterterrorism official, visited the Damascus last August.
Both officials held talks with the head of Syrian National Security, Major General Ali Mamlouk, with whom they discussed a set of 'offer and demand' topics, including sanctions imposed on Syria, the issue of U.S. hostages, in particular journalist Austin Tice, who disappeared in Syria since 2012.
This is not the first visit by high-level US officials. There were previously three similar to Damascus in recent months, as per sources who requested anonymity.
They explained that the officials were surprised by the firm Syrian position, refusing to discuss or cooperate with Washington before discussing the withdrawal of the US occupation forces from the country and the appearance of real signs regarding this issue.
'Damascus refused to discuss the issue of sanctions imposed on Syria before addressing the issue of the US withdrawal from Syrian territory,' they said.
The sources concluded that 'Damascus is very cautious about these US visits and does not trust them or their possible results, especially since the Syrian leadership is aware of the influence of lobbies on US presidents and their decisions and general policies.'
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