Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lieberman: Syria is no peace partner

This comes as no surprise, but is certainly disappointing. It would be an interesting project to track the number of times peace deals/negotiations have been derailed by electoral cycles as compared to authoritarian overturn . . .

Syria no peace partner: Israel FM
Sat Apr 25, 8:20 am ET

BERLIN (AFP) – Syria's support of Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups make it no partner for peace, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview published on Saturday.

"We need to look at the reality. Until today, Syria is hosting the headquarters of terror organisations such as Hamas and the (Islamic) Jihad," he told the Berliner Zeitung daily, referring to two radical Palestinian organisations.

"Syria supports Hezbollah and its arms trafficking into southern Lebanon. Syria supports Iran's nuclear programme. That is why I cannot see in Syria a real partner for any type of agreement," Lieberman said.

Syria and Israel engaged in indirect peace talks in May last year following an eight-year hiatus, but the talks were suspended after Israel launched a deadly offensive against the Gaza Strip in December.

Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said earlier this month that Syria was ready to resume the indirect talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new right-leaning government on the basis of a total pullout from the Golan Heights which Israel occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Lieberman raised a wave of international criticism when he last month announced that Israel would not continue the latest round of US-sponsored peace talks launched in 2007.

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