Will Europe move closer to Assad?
Photo: AFP

EU may resume Syria partnership talks

Solana: EU would like to continue negotiations with Syria on condition that Damascus meets Western demands

The European Union is willing to renew talks for a partnership pact with Syria once Damascus takes more steps to meet Western demands, the EU's foreign policy chief said on Friday.


The signing of an already-drafted association accord has been stalled since the assassination three years ago of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. Syria has denied assertions the attack was orchestrated from Damascus.


Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, told reporters in Tel Aviv: "The attitude of the EU is to continue with Syria the negotiations as soon as it decides it's clear enough that Syria has changed its position."


Solana did not spell out what the Western demands were, but the EU has expressed concern about preventing weapons smuggling across Syria's borders to Hizbullah.


"There is no doubt that if Syria changes their position in the way we are talking about, and they have done some change in that direction, then we'll consider no doubt," resuming negotiations for the pact, Solana said.


At this point there had not been any decision taken by the EU to resume these talks with Syria, he added.


Solana praised recent indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel, under Turkish mediation, and said they ought to be resumed. Formal negotiations between Israel and Syria stalled in 2000.


"I think it's good. I think the contacts between Israel and Syria, through Turkey, should continue," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 09.12.08, 17:31
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