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President Bashar Assad. 'Political maneuvers'
Photo: AP
Syria says Israel 'provoking world' with referendum bill
Official in Syrian Foreign Ministry: All prime ministers in Israel since 1991 committed to complete withdrawal from Golan to '67 borders and Netanyahu also aware that there will be no negotiations with similar commitment

The Knesset vote Wednesday in favor of the law conditioning any withdrawal from the Golan Heights or Jerusalem on the results of a national referendum did not elude the Syrian leadership.

 

"Israel proved once again that it is clearly provoking the desire of the international community for comprehensive peace in the region in accordance with international agreements and the principle of land for peace," said a senior official in the Syrian Foreign Ministry Thursday in a first official response to the bill.

 

"The Israeli government is offering nothing more than political games and maneuvers," said the senior official in a statement issued to the official Syrian news agency, SANA. He emphasized that the decision has no real legal value because it is contradictory to international law.

 

The official added that all prime ministers in Israel since the start of peace talks following the Madrid Conference in 1991 committed to a complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights to the 4 June 1967 borders.

 

According to him, even the current Netanyahu administration is aware that Syria will not return to indirect talks mediated by Turkey without an Israeli commitment to a complete withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

 

"Syria's desire to return its occupied land is not an issue up for negotiation, but a right confirmed by UN resolutions," said the official.

 

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