Moallem. Criminal aggression
Photo: AP

Syria: Israel proved it doesn't want peace

Foreign Minister Moallem visits Turkey, calls on international community to put Israeli leaders on trial over 'war crimes'

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem defined the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip as "a barbaric act any way you look at it" and called on the international community "to try those responsible to these war crimes which violate international law, including the Geneva Treaty."


In a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan after completing a series of meetings in Ankara, Moallem said, "I came to Turkey to discuss ways to bring about an immediate ceasefire, a removal of the blockade and the opening of all crossings, as well as finding a mechanism to achieve these goals.


"I stress to you that our opinions are similar and that we have formed a joint stance."


Moallem once again slammed Israel for "committing war crimes" and said Israeli leaders should be tried by an international tribunal.


"Through this criminal aggression Israel has proved that it does not want peace. It's a country based on aggression, killing, war crimes and mass destruction. What peace are they talking about in the face of this aggression?"


Turkish Foreign Minister Babacan called on Israel to hold its fire immediately.


Moallem and Babacan in Ankara (Photo: AFP)


The Syrian foreign minister noted that since the crisis broke out "we've consulted our brothers in Turkey and some of the Arabs".


He added that Syrian President Bashar Assad had called for an urgent Arab summit, as did Qatar's emir, adding that talks were still being held in a bid to convene the meeting despite the obstacles.


"Relying on the Security Council at this stage is imaginary and wont' achieve a thing," he claimed.


Moallem said the indirect Turkish-mediated talks between Syria and Israel were halted "naturally".


"When the indirect talks began there was an agreement on a lull between Hamas and Israel achieved through Egypt. It was valid for six months, during which the siege should have been lifted, but Israel violated it two weeks later," the Syrian minister argued.


"Turkey knew that the talks between us were being held as long as Israel didn't launch a military operation in Gaza or in the West Bank and that this would not be at the expense of the Palestinians. It was natural that in such a situation, with the aggression on Gaza, the talks would be halted.


"Returning the Golan Heights is important, but this stance is also important to the Syrian leadership. This aggression proves that Israel has not desire for peace."


פרסום ראשון: 01.05.09, 14:56
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