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FM Lieberman: Syria is Not a Peace Partner

While his statements are in line with recent intelligence community reports, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s latest statements have resulted in another political stir in Israel. The senior minister stated Syria “is not a peace partner and Damascus continues supporting terror organizations”.

Speaker to the Austrian Kleiner Tzeitung newspaper, he explained that before entertaining any notions of entering into a peace treaty with Syria, Damascus must abandon its support of terror.

“Syria entertains the leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and supports Hizbullah and Iran’s nuclear aspirations. From this perspective, I do not see how Syria may be considered a peace partner”.

Regarding the ‘land for peace’ concept, Lieberman questions what gains were achieved by Israel to date, pointing out that today, we are under threat from Hizbullah and missiles, insisting the concept is not favorable to Israel.

The minister’s remarks elicited criticism from his opponents, including Labor MK Prof. Yuli Tamir, a former minister of education, who blames the foreign minister of dragging Israel into murky diplomatic waters with the United States, Europe, Egypt and now Syria, all within a month. She added such abrasive statements from senior government officials will eliminate any chance of dialogue. “The international community and all those who yearn for peace may not permit Lieberman to continue to present his political views”.

The Syrians continue to express a willingness to enter into dialogue with Israel but insist this cannot be accomplished without Israel first agreeing to a total withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to tell US President Barak Obama in their upcoming meeting in Washington that he is willing to talk with Damascus but without any preconditions.

Interestingly the daily al-Hayat quotes an unnamed senior Egyptian source who quotes Lieberman as telling visiting Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman last week that he views the ‘two-state solution’ as a viable formula towards achieving regional peace.

In response, officials in the Foreign Ministry released a message stating, “The minister’s position has been expressed on numerous occasions, in a clear unambiguous voice and one needn’t check quotes from anonymous Arab media sources”.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, following the statements released by the foreign minister, stressed the importance of entering into a peace dialogue with Damascus.

Lieberman on Sunday stated he supports entering into talks with the Syrians without any preconditions. MK (Ichud HaLeumi) Dr. Michael Ben-Ari lamented the minister’s willingness to enter into talks with a nation which is a major component of the ‘axis of evil’.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

One Response

  1. They are going to have to get their act together or no one will take them seriously. In one 24 hour period, three ministers release statements to the media totally contradicting each other.

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