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Syrian ambassador:  No peace plan this year

/ Source: The Associated Press

Syria's ambassador to the United States says there will be no Israeli-Palestinian peace deal this year. He also is brushing aside a recent peace summit in Maryland as "an exercise in public relations."

Imad Moustapha tells The Associated Press ahead of a visit to Pittsburgh on Monday that there is no enthusiasm in the Bush administration to make progress in the Middle East peace process. Moustapha says there are powerful elements in the Bush administration who believe chaos is constructive in the region.

Moustapha says the Palestinians are also disappointed at the lack of progress in recent one-on-one talks with Israel.

President George W. Bush oversaw a Mideast peace summit in Annapolis in November where he announced that Israel and the Palestinians would aim to achieve a comprehensive peace deal by the end of this year.