BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett met Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moualem on Monday as part of Western moves to re-engage Damascus over Middle East peace efforts and Iraq.
British officials said the two met for around an hour on the sidelines of EU-Arab League talks in Brussels and spoke about Iran, Iraq and the Middle East, a British official said.
It followed a visit by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana to Damascus in March that ended a two-year freeze on high-level EU contacts with Syria. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Moualem earlier this month, further easing Syrian isolation.
The EU decision to re-engage Syria came after France dropped its objections to contacts with Damascus, which a U.N. inquiry has implicated in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.
Syria is seen as possibly playing an important role in easing tensions in Iraq, and Brussels has pledged to help it deal with Iraqi refugees flooding across its borders.