Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Ice cream and football on the road to Damascus

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    British Foreign Secretary David Miliband hopes his Middle East trip will help nudge Syria away from supporting the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, but on a visit to Damascus he let slip that other Syrian allegiances were troubling him.

    “People on the streets wanted to talk about politics but also about football,” he told reporters after a tour in which he sampled ice cream from century-old shop in the heart of the ancient capital.

    “There were not enough Arsenal supporters and too many Manchester United supporters,” he said.

    Miliband, a keen Arsenal fan, is not shy about expressing his views on football. When Arsenal unceremoniously exited the Champions League in April after a 4-2 defeat to Liverpool, he criticised the Swedish referee on his Foreign Office blog and accused a Dutch player of faking a fall.

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