Damascus Hopes Bush Presidency will Offer ‘Neutral’ US Policy to Middle East
An official Syrian newspaper called on US President-elect George W. Bush Friday to adopt an "even-handed" approach in trying to help resolve the Middle East's conflicts.
"The new American administration must follow a neutral and even-handed policy in the Middle East" and help apply international resolutions relevant to the Arab-Israeli conflict, wrote Al-Baath, the newspaper of Syria's ruling party.
After the 1967 war between Israel and Arab countries, which saw Israel capture land from Jordan, Egypt and Syria, the UN passed resolutions calling for the exchange of land for peace.
Al-Baath called on the new US president to revive the peace process launched at a 1991 conference in Madrid under his father George Bush, who was then US president.
With Madrid's premise of "land for peace", many Arabs viewed its framework as preferable to the separate channels of negotiation which emerged during outgoing US President Bill Clinton's eight-year administration.
"Arabs want the new president to reactivate the 1991 peace initiative, which was based on the principle of land for peace," the newspaper said.
Indirectly accusing Clinton's administration of bias, the paper said, "It must not blindly and systematically support Israel against the Arabs. We have our rights, which must be recognized."
Syria wishes to recover the Golan Heights, a mountain plateau, which it lost to Israel in the 1967 War.
In a telegram sent Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad congratulated Bush on his victory and expressed the hope they could work together for peace in the Middle East -- Damascus (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)