The Right Honorable Lord Mayor of London 

Alderman Gavyn Arthur and Lady Mayoress Carole Blackshaw 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

On behalf of my wife, myself and the Syrian delegation, I would like to thank the Mayor and the Corporation of London for their kind invitation to be with you here this evening. It is a great pleasure for us to be with you in this historic building. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our gratitude for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality that we have received in London. It is a delightful to be back in London, a city I know well, a city I lived in with its people and I worked as a doctor on one of its central hospitals, treating many of its patients. This daily interaction created a long lasting relationship, which I will always cherish. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Geographic distance between countries has never been an obstacle to creating fruitful relationships and throughout history we have established relations in different domains between our two counttries. The Phoenicians reached the British shores in 1100 B.C. and the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus, who is of Syrian origin, is buired in the city of York when both countries were part of the Roman Empire. I n the 16th century commercial relations flourished between Syria and Britain. An agreement signed with the Ottoman Empire, which included Syria at the time, allowed English traders to take residence in the Northern city of Aleppo and Syrian traders to take residence in Manchester. It is through this agreement that the great English poet, William Shakespeare, learned of Aleppo and mentioned it in his play, Othello.

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 BEIRUT His Excellency President Bashar Assad has suggested for the Arab Summit, convened here Wednesday, the setting up of a "committee from the countries concerned with the peace process in addition to the Saudi Arabia and the Arab League Secretary General, as to explain the Initiative of Emir Abdullah, once adopted by the Summit or by the UN Security Council members" to the EU Presidency and to the United Nations. 

His Excellency also suggested continued support for the Intifada '' financially' as well as ' morally'' and the issuance of a stamp by all Arab countries, which revenues are to be channeled to the Intifada. President Assad also called for severing Arab countries relations with Israel till the realization of just and comprehensive peace, which is linked to the full Israeli withdrawal from all 1967 occupied Arab territories. 

In his address to the opening session of the Summit, President Assad suggested providing support to the resistance against any occupation, and to the Lebanese Resistance till the liberation of all the Lebanese territories. "Arabs, once more, reiterate their commitment to just and comprehensive peace; henceforth comes the initiative of Emir Abdullah, which in no way deviates from the national basics," President Assad said. The basics, the President outlined, are '' the full withdrawal from the occupied territories of 1967, the Palestinian State with east Jerusalem as its capital, the right of return" asserting that the initiative asserts " Arabs' desire for peace'' and exposes the ''

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His Excellency President Constantinos Stephanopoulus President of the Hellenic Republic, 

Members of the Greek Delegation, 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

We are meeting this evening on the splendid occasion of welcoming the distinguished guest of Syria, President Constantinos Stephanopoulus. 

It gives me great pleasure to warmly greet His Excellency, as President of a friendly state, representing a friendly people and as a dear guest of the Syrian Arab Republic. I also welcome the dignitaries accompanying him and I wish His Excellency and wish them a happy stay in our country which was linked to Greece by historic links in ancient time, and by relations of friendship and cooperation in present time. 

The relations between our two peoples emerged and developed by factors of geography and history, thus mutual stimulation was one of the fruits of these factors. 

The location of both Syria and Greece on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea helped communication between the two peoples and deepening of understanding between our two governments in recently years, regarding events and developments in the immediate neighborhood, the Mediterranean basin in general or in the wider international arena. 

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