Moratinos Says he Conveys ‘Good Will’ Message from Sharon to Assad
European Union Envoy to the Middle East Miguel Angel Moratinos, who arrived in Damascus Saturday, said he conveyed a "good will message" from Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, reported AFP.
"The message is addressed to president Assad and the Syrian authorities, the message is (about) good will and intentions of the proposals from the Israeli Prime minister (-elect)," he told journalists after a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq Shara, said the agency.
"It's not a specific message, it's not a concrete message, it's a message that a new government has been elected in Israel and they want to see how they can resume negotiations and how they can work for the peace process," he added.
Sharon's message is "that he wants to make peace with his Arab neighbours and that he wants to advance the peace process."
Shara's response "was very clear, that Syria has always been open and in favour of peace (..) but a just peace is a peace based on UN security council resolutions 242 and 338 and a full withdrawal from the Golan heights" occupied by Israel since 1967, "and I think they are open to any kind of proposal that goes in this line," said the EU envoy.
UN resolutions 242 and 338 call for the return of Arab lands seized in the June 1967 War by Israel in exchange for peace.
"We cannot just forget about these ten years of intense negotiations. We cannot allow the peace process to collapse, our duty and our responsibility is to work as partners in order to achieve a global and final peace in the region," said Moratinos.
The EU envoy said he does not know if he will have the opportunity to see Assad before he leaves on Sunday, reported the Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA).
He said he flew in from Sweden, which currently holds the EU six-month rotating presidency, and added that he was heading to Israel on Tuesday, KUNA added.
Moratinos said last month we would relay to Syria a verbal message from Sharon stating his readiness to restart peace talks without any pre-conditions, said reports.
Two days later, the state-run Syrian radio rejected the offer as "a huge trickery" designed to make Syria "waive its indefeasible right to recover the Golan Heights." – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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