Walid Moallem
Photo: AFP

Syria to EU: Israel obstacle to peace

FM Moallem tells EU Mideast envoy Otte that Jerusalem's policy of continued blockade of Gaza, settlement expansion hindering peace efforts; stresses importance of European role in achieving comprehensive agreement based on 'peace for territories' formula

Israel poses an obstacle to peace in light of its continued blockade on Gaza and the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said Monday.


During a meeting in Damascus with EU special representative to the Middle East Mark Otte, Moallem urged the international community to pressure Israel into accepting the "necessary terms for peace."


According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Moallem stressed the importance of the EU's role in achieving a regional agreement based on the "peace for territories" paradigm.


Meanwhile, Syria's relations with the US appear to be warming. President Barack Obama told British television network Sky News this week that the two countries have begun the process of establishing diplomatic ties, but stressed that there was still a long road ahead.


Obama refrained from directly addressing Syrian President Bashar Assad's public invitation, but expressed his optimism over the chances of making progress in the relations between the two countries. "I'm a believer in engagement and my hope is that we can continue to see progress on that front," he added.


Last week, Assad invited Obama to visit Damascus for a summit in which the two leaders would discuss peace efforts in the Middle East.


Assad told Sky News that he would be happy to meet with Obama on Syrian soil, and that the date of the meeting was up to the Americans to decide.


"We would like to welcome him in Syria, definitely. I am very clear about this," Assad told Sky's Middle East correspondent. Asked whether this could happen soon, the Syrian president said, "That depends on him."


פרסום ראשון: 07.13.09, 19:18
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Syria to EU: Israel obstacle to peace"
This will delete your current comment