Assad. Israel to blame
Photo: AP

Assad: Israel major obstacle to peace

Syrian president says recent indirect peace talks with Israel through Turkish mediation prove Israel to blame for failure of peace process; adds failure of diplomacy justifies Palestinian resistance

Syrian President Bashar Assad called Israel Saturday a "major obstacle to peace" during a speech in Damascus.


"The failure of the peace process is a blatant demonstration that Israel is the major obstacle to peace," Assad said in an address to a ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Damascus.


"Our experience with Israel during indirect peace negotiations mediated by Turkey is further proof of this," Assad said.

"How can a state that was founded on illegal occupation and continues to murder the original inhabitants work toward peace?" he said. "How can a country that has chosen the most extreme government in its history be a partner for peace?" He added.


"We the Arab nations, and especially Syria will not change our view about peace as a strategic goal, including the full return of occupied lands," Assad said in the Syrian capital.


Assad also stated that,"The failure of political methods to recover their legitimate rights gives them the right of resistance," referring to Syrians and Palestinians whose land is occupied by Israel.


Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem said Friday that resuming peace talks between Syria and Israel would be "useless" without a commitment by the Jewish state to withdraw from the Golan Heights.


"If Israel does not honor these requirements then there is no point of conducting useless negotiations," Moualem said.


"Negotiations will be futile if there is no true Israeli will to make peace and no US involvement. We will not go back to wasting time," he told Syrian state television.


פרסום ראשון: 05.23.09, 12:38
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