Channels

Tzipi Livni
Photo: Yotam Frum
Syrian FM Walid Moallem
Photo: AP
Report: Livni meets with Syrian FM
Al-Sinara newspaper reports Tzipi Livni meets with Walid Moallem at UN headquarters in New York for over an hour; two discuss tensions between two countries. Report denied by Livni's entourage

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met with her Syrian counterpart Walid Moallem in New York on Wednesday, Arab-Israeli newspaper al-Sinara reported on Thursday. Livni's entourage in New York denied the report.

 

According to the report, which was based on a senior Arab source, the meeting came after Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani surprised Livni with a proposal that she convene with the Syrian FM at the UN headquarters in New York.

 

After consluting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Livni agreed to the meeting, which ended up lasting for over an hour.

 

During thier meeting the two reportedly discussed tensions that have built up between the two countries, and the need to calm things down.

 

The Arab source said the meeting could be an opening for Qatari mediation between Israel and Syria, especially due to its proximity to the international peace conference set for November.

 

According to the report, in his previous meeting with Moallem, the Qatari emir brought up the possibility of a meeting with Livni and Moallem agreed.

 

The report said Moallem demanded clarifications on Israel's real stance, since he claimed that on one hand Israel continues to make calls for peace, while on the other, it infiltrates Syrian airspace.

 

The Arab source told al-Sinara that Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Gillerman and Syrian Ambassador to the US Mohammed Nassif, who was reportedly involved in setting up previous meetings between Moallem and US and Israeli officials, were also present at the meeting.

 

Tensions have risen between the two countries in recent weeks after foreign media reported an Israeli airstrike on Syria.

 

Earlier this week Syrian officials said in response to the reports, "After such a raid, you can forget about peace."

 

Nonetheless, Olmert has said that Israel and Syria expressed hopes that "the tension is gradually diffused, and the front returns to calm. We are certainly interested in that."

 

 new comment
See all talkbacks "Report: Livni meets with Syrian FM"
Warning:
This will delete your current comment