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Ayalon. 'Separate relations'
Photo: Reuters
Deputy FM: Syria 'fooled everyone'
Ayalon says Turkish mediation in peace talks between Jerusalem and Damascus was a mistake, 'as it affected our relations'
Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon says Syria is responsible for the failure of peace negotiations between Jerusalem and Damascus.

 

Speaking on Tuesday at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, Ayalon said that "Syria didn’t desire peace, and through these negotiations it fooled everyone in a bid to emerge from the global isolation.

 

"Looking back today, we can say that the Turkish mediation was a mistake, as it affected the relations between us. Therefore, there is a need to separate between relations between countries and relations with the entire region."

 

According to Ayalon, the burden of proof is now on Syria. "It must prove that is desires peace, not war," he said. Stressing that the relations with Turkey will continue to be good, "as this is the interest of both sides."

 

He added, however, that "Israel will not accept anti-Semitism in Turkey."

 

The Syrians insist that Ankara continue to mediate between the sides, despite Israel's desire to get France involved. Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad said recently that "during the indirect talks under Turkish mediation, Syria has stressed the need for a retreat to the lines of June 4, 1967 and an end to the Israeli occupation."

 

Damascus insists on Turkey's mediation "because it wants to resume the negotiations with Israel from the point the talks with (former Prime Minister) Ehud Olmert left off, rather than return to the starting point."

 

The London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that according to Syria, Turkey "holds the Israeli promises and commitments," and therefore it is against its interest to have a new mediator come along.

 

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