Saudi bid to cool Syria-Jordan rift

The two-week-old face-off between Syrian and Jordanian troops appears to be headed for a solution. Saudi Prince Abdullah told the Saudi news agency Dec. 4 that Syria has agreed to begin reducing its manpower in its southern border region.

But Jordanian and Western diplomats monitoring the crisis were unable to confirm an actual pullback at this writing. The mood at King Hussein's royal palace overlooking this city was calm and optimistic, however.

One official predicted that if a troop withdrawal is imminent, it will be followed by a Jordanian effort to increase dialogue with Syria.

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