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Syria Rejects Dividing Arab Region into Different Camps
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has rejected the idea of dividing Arab countries into different camps of moderates and extremists, the official SANA news agency reported on Saturday.

"I reject to be from the first camp or from the second camp. I am from the Arab camp," Assad was quoted as saying in an interview with the Kuwaiti al-Anba newspaper.

"I put myself with the Arabs, because some had tried to show that Syria, through these camps, is out of the Arab camp, ... as an Arab, I hope that we will not be divided into camps," the president told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Assad acknowledged that some disagreements remain among Arab countries, saying that these should be respected and resolved through dialogue.

"We should accept to have differences, and if the Arabs have identical view points there is no need for them to meet," Assad said.

It was reported that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has urged the "moderates" in the region to unite against the "extremists" during her recent Middle East tour.

However, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has denied the existence of an axis of moderate nations in the region, saying Rice did not raise such issue during her talks with eight Arab foreign ministers.

Egypt's official news agency MENA quoted Mubarak as saying that Egypt rejected categorizing Mideast countries into moderate and extremist ones while stressing Egypt's adherence to the policy that aimed at bringing the Arab ranks closer.

(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2006)

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