Accessibility links

Pelosi in Saudi Arabia for Last Stop of Mideast Tour

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, is holding talks in Saudi Arabia on the last stop of her Mideast tour.

Pelosi and Saudi King Abdullah discussed the situation in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. She also met with members of the kingdom's advisory Shura Council.

Pelosi arrived in Saudi Arabia from Syria, where she met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Wednesday for talks criticized by the White House.

Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC News radio the trip has undermined U.S.-led efforts to isolate the Syrian leader and is rewarding - as Cheney put it - "bad behavior."

Pelosi said it is important to hold a dialogue with Syria, and that she wanted to discuss with Syria how it can help the war on terrorism.

Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Syria in years. She said she carried a message from Israel that it was ready for peace talks with Syria.

However, Israeli cabinet minister Zeev Boim says if President Assad really wants peace with Israel, he needs to take actions to prove his intentions.

On Tuesday, President Bush criticized Pelosi for visiting Syria, saying Damascus is sponsoring terrorism by allowing foreign fighters into Iraq.

Earlier this week, a small group of lawmakers from Mr. Bush's Republican party also met with Mr. Assad.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.