Photo: Yaron Brener
MK Ami Ayalon. Talk to Syria
Photo: Yaron Brener
Photo: AFP
Bashar Assad. Dialogue without pre-conditions
Photo: AFP
Ayalon: Accept Syrian overtures for dialogue
Candidate for leadership of Labor Party, MK Ami Ayalon, says in conversation with Ynet that Israel must talk to whomever wants peace. According to him, 'Ultimate test of leadership is preventing war.' However, he doesn't believe Israel will be able to withdraw from Golan Heights in coming years
Knesset Member Ami Ayalon, who is running for leadership of the Labor Party, said Saturday night in a conversation with Ynet that Israel must not reject Syria's overtures to initiate dialogue.


According to him, "Syria is identifying an opportunity for negotiations on the backdrop of the complicated internal situation in Israel. Israel cannot turn back from its position that whoever wants negotiations without pre-conditions must be engaged."


However, he warned that the option must not be ruled out that "we will find ourselves at war with Syria within a short time period."


But, he who sends soldiers to battle, according to him, must use all means to avoid the war. "The ultimate test of leadership is how to avoid war," he said.


Ayalon said that before negotiations are started, Syria needs to disengage itself from terrorism and Iran and to make it clear that Israel cannot withdraw from the Golan Heights in the upcoming years.


"We are satisfied with the assurances and it is entirely clear that we aren't returning to negotiation according to what was in 1999 and 2000. Whoever wants to talk needs to be talked to, but in coordination with the Americans," asserted Ayalon.


Chaos in PA 

In reference to the recent events in the Palestinian Authority, Ayalon said, "The Palestinians are in a reality of internal chaos and Israel doesn't need to get involved. Abu Mazen (Abbas) is taking steps that have a chance, but there have already been declarations of this kind or another in the past. The test is in the actions and not in statements. Israel doesn't need to deal with this issue, but needs to be very initiating in regards to the pragmatic axis of the moderate Arab states."


MK Danny Yatom (Labor) also called the cabinet to respond to overtures made by the Syrian foreign minister. He also said that rejecting the appeal "is likely to lead to war."


Minister Shimon Peres rejected Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moullem's call for dialogue with Israel without pre-conditions.


According to Peres, "Ending the existence of the terrorist commands in Damascus and ending Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal's activities in Syria are our pre-conditions for dialogue."


Infrastructure Minsiter Binyamin Ben-Eliezer also said in a conversation with Ynet, "It is not enough to call for talks. Syria needs to cease sending missiles to Hizbullah. The problem isn't pre-conditions, but that Syria is pushing the battle to a point of no return."


According to him, "It is nice to say to Ehud Olmert, 'Take a chance,' but you need to wait for developments." At the same time, cabinet ministers said that they received a request from the Prime Minister's Office not to make any statements about developments with Syria or about the crisis in the Palestinian Authority.


פרסום ראשון: 12.17.06, 08:22
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