Assad on Tuesday
Photo: AP

Assad: Peace process in danger

In joint press conference with Russian counterpart, Syrian President Assad warns that 'the expulsion of Palestinians from Jerusalem, the attacks on holy sites and the siege on Gaza may completely foil the peace process'

Syrian President Bashar Assad said during a press conference with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Damascus, that Russia is one of the supporters of the peace process and that this process is currently deadlocked.


However, according to Assad, "even during a stalemate, there are elements that can take steps to increase the opportunities for peace, or, on the contrary, take steps that may completely foil the peace process."


"We consider the expulsion of Palestinians from Jerusalem and the attacks on holy sites, as well as the siege on Gaza, as steps that may completely foil the peace process," Assad said.


Medvedev said at the press conference that he and Assad discussed the peace process and ways to renew negotiations between Israel and the Arab states.


Medvedev stressed that Russia intends to invest all its efforts in the matter. He said the efforts should lead to an inclusive and just agreement, in which all Arab lands would be liberated and a Palestinian state would be established and live alongside Israel in peace and security.


Assad and Medvedev (Photo: AFP)


After the meeting, the two issued a statement saying, "The parties express deep concern over the remaining dangerous tension in the Middle East, first and foremost as the result of the continuing Israeli occupation, and condemn Israel settlement activity, (and) any unilateral attempts towards occupied Arab land, including east Jerusalem."


Of the historic meeting with the Russian president in Damascus, Assad said, "The dialogue between the two counties is fruitful, as it was today during talks with Medvedev."


According to Syrian media, both parties stressed the importance of developing ties between the two countries on a number of matters.


At the end of the meeting a joint statement was released detailed the parties' plans to boost cooperation. Assad said the global economic crisis left its mark on trade between the two countries.


The Syrian president added that the two discussed the possibility of establishing a council for strategic cooperation.


Addressing the Iranian nuclear program, Assad said, "It is every country's right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes", and with the same breath charged that the Middle East should be stripped of nuclear weapons.


The Syrian President added that sanctions on Iran would be ineffective.


"Peace and stability are the right way to fight terror," he said, and condemned the terror attacks that took place in Russia recently.


AFP contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 05.11.10, 13:48
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