Assad. Defense alliance with Lebanon
Syrian President Bashar Assad addressed the voices of war and peace in the Middle East for the first time Sunday evening. Speaking in a meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berry, Assad stressed that his government and the Syrian people would stand by Lebanon "in any case of an Israeli attack which it may face."
Official Syrian news agency SANA reported that the two discussed "the repeated Israeli threats against the region's countries and Israeli extremism threatening to destroy the chances for peace by igniting the region with wars and taking it into the unknown."
The two also discussed the developing bilateral relations between the two countries and the situation in the Middle East, and particularly the situation in the Palestinian arena.
Assad and Berri, Sunday (Photo: AFP)
Another Syrian official who addressed the threats made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman against Damascus in an ongoing war of words between Israel and Syria was Information Minister Mohsen Bilal.
On a tour of Quneitra in the Syrian Golan Heights earlier Sunday, Bilal said Lieberman's remarks were "irresponsible, wild, and aggressive, and came from the mouth of a man whom the entire world scorns and whom no one receives". Bilal added that Lieberman has proven "The aggressiveness of this entity (Israel)".
Earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the situation in the region for the first time as well.
Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, "Israel aspires to peace accords with all of its neighbors. We have done it with Egypt and Jordan and we can do it with Syria and the Palestinians."
He added, however, that "there are conditions for this. Negotiations must take place without preconditions that mean huge concessions on Israel's part ahead of time. Also, the accord must finally be accompanied by security agreements in order to last for generations."