Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conferred with her Syrian counterpart Thursday in an unexpected half hour sit-down that ended a two-year cold-shoulder between the Bush administration and a state it considers a sponsor of terrorism. Rice asked asked Sryia's help in restricting the flow of foreign fighters across the Syrian border into Iraq.
She also attempted to confer with Iran's foreign minister during the two-day conference in Egypt aimed at bolstering Iraqi security. He eluded her by ducking out of dinner, though she did manage to exchange "pleasantries." The Syrian talk, which Rice described as "professional," came a month after President Bush excoriated Nancy Pelosi for her own diplomatic foray to Damascus.