MEMRI has brought together editorial reactions from the Arab press to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria. The results are as you would expect. Arab governments and spokesmen for those governments applauded Pelosi’s visit and saw it as a blow to the Bush administration. From Syria:
Pelosi’s visit was well received in Syria. While a number of delegations of U.S. congressmen had come to Syria in recent months, due to her status this visit was understood to be a significant development that could initiate a Syria-U.S. dialogue.
In an interview, Syrian Information Minister Muhsin Bilal told Arab television stations that Pelosi’s meeting with Assad was “effective and positive.”
He added that the visit had “helped to break the barrier that the American administration wanted to erect around Syria,” and that “Pelosi, who represents Congress and the American people, has a spirit of dialogue and understanding for issues in the region and for Syria’s important role in the region.”
The official Egyptian dailies also saw Pelosi’s trip to Syria as a positive step. … An editorial in the following day’s Al-Ahram read: “Pelosi’s visit is likely to verify the failure of the Bush administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East, and it may be assumed that the visit will cause great embarrassment to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice…”
Qatari columnist Mazen Hammad wrote in the Qatari daily Al-Watan: “It is as if lightning had struck the White House. This is how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Damascus could be described. This wise woman, who is considered the third most senior American [official], is not only bringing her country back to sanity, but is also contributing to improving the image of the U.S. in the Arab and Muslim world.
“The talk in the White House of ‘mixed signals’ sent to Syria by the visit is not true. The visit sends one [single] message