Manama: The United States will end a five-year diplomatic hiatus with Syria by appointing Robert Stephen Ford as ambassador to Syria, a Lebanese daily reported on Saturday.

Washington has not had an envoy in Damascus since former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recalled Margaret Scobey in February 2005 in response to the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and amid tensions between the two countries mainly over issues relating to Iraq and Lebanon.

"US Middle East envoy George Mitchell gave the name of the new US ambassador to Syria in a meeting with Syrian President Bashar [Al] Assad," the Lebanese daily An Nahar said, quoting unnamed American sources.

Mitchell was in Damascus last week as part of a tour of the region that saw him visit several capitals.