Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad continues to release mixed messages regarding Israel and the possibility of establishing diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.
The Syrian president has now stated that he does not see a renewed state of warfare with Israel on the horizon, somewhat contradicting other recent statements in which he accuses Israel of sabotaging regional peace efforts and being less than genuine regarding Syria’s newly-expressed willingness to open a diplomatic channel.
Addressing senior military officers, Assad stated he is not ruling out entering into talks with the new Netanyahu-led administration, adding his administration is carefully monitoring the new administration to ascertain its position vis-à-vis talks and a possible peace agreement with Israel.
While he is moving ahead somewhat towards revamping his image with the New American administration, encouraged by diplomatic overtures from President Barak Obama, Assad remains firm regarding his preconditions to establishing direct non-mediated talks with Israel including a total unconditional Israeli withdrawal from all of the Golan Heights and Mount Dov (Sheba Farm), as well as the demarcation of the border between Syria and Lebanon as a prerequisite to direct talks. To date, talks between Damascus and Jerusalem have been mediated by Turkey.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)