'Hard to predict.' Moallem
Photo: Reuters
Syria: No war expected; Arabs acting responsibly
FM Moallem tells Radio Monte Carlo escalation in region not in US' interest; claims reports of missile transfer to Hezbollah meant to diver global attention from 'what Israel is doing to the Palestinian people in Jerusalem'

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said he does not expect a new armed conflict to erupt between his country and Israel despite the recent escalation of tensions.


Speaking to Radio Monte Carlo on Thursday about threats made by Israel, Moallem said the Jewish state was unlikely to declare war without first consulting Washington.


"One must ask whether more tension on the region is in the interest of the Americans," he said. "It is difficult to make predictions regarding Israel's intentions, but personally I don’t think there is any real indication that a war may break out, mainly because the Arab side is taking responsible steps to preserve the security of region."


Asked about reports of the mass transfer of Scud missiles from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Moallem said they are meant to "veer the region off the path of peace and to divert global attention away from what Israel is doing to the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, as well as from the construction in the settlements, the continued blockade on Gaza and the creation of barriers aimed at hindering the peace process.


"The fact that the US has joined this campaign (claims that Syria transferred arms to Hezbollah) has attracted a lot of media attention to the issue. No one is talking about Israel's measures, the most recent being the burning of mosques," he said.


The investigation into this week's fire at mosque in a Palestinian village in the West Bank has yet to be concluded.


The Syrian FM also addressed his country's relations with Washington, saying "the dialogue has been going on for over a year, and if we want normalization then we must begin implementing the agreements reached between President Bashar Assad and the State Department envoy." Moallem was referring to the fact that the US has yet to send an ambassador to Damascus.


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