Shara: Syria Wants no Escalation of Violence
Neither Lebanon, nor Hizbollah, nor Syria "want to launch a war" against Israel, Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara said Sunday.
"Syria is for peace; it does not like aggression. The side responsible for the escalation in Israel, not Lebanon, nor the Lebanese resistance (led by the Shiite Muslim group Hizbollah), nor Syria," he told journalists.
"None of us wants to launch a war," he said, speaking after a visit to Damascus by his Egyptian counterpart, Amr Moussa.
Earlier Sunday, Shara said Syria does not want confrontation with Israel to escalate, either in the Palestinian territories or in Lebanon.
He said he had spoken with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Saturday and told her Israel was responsible for the escalation in violence.
"Israel carries the responsibility for the escalation, which neither the Palestinians nor the Lebanese wanted; but people were obliged to defend themselves," he said.
He said those following the situation consider Israel to be the "source of the provocation, the tensions and the escalation, that it wants to evade the peace process in killing Palestinians, in attacking the Lebanese and in killing Palestinians in Lebanon."
Syrian state radio, meanwhile, Sunday issued a call for the international community to press Israel to put a halt to its "aggression," adding that the Jewish state is "pushing things toward ... all-out war" in the region.
It also called on those countries that have relations with Israel to break them off.
"If the international community is not able to stop the aggressive push of Israel and force (the country) to withdraw from the Golan (Heights), from southern Lebanon and from all occupied Arab territories, then peace in the region is in danger," the radio said.
By making threats "in all directions, which do not serve the cause of peace, Israel is trying to push things towards ... all-out war," it said.
Moussa had traveled to Syria Sunday for discussions with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and visiting Libyan leader Moammer Kadhafi, on preparations for an emergency Arab summit to be held in Cairo later this month.
He denied that the purpose of his trip was to discuss the fate of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped Saturday by guerrillas of Lebanon's Syrian-backed Shiite Muslim group, Hizbollah – DAMASCUS (AFP)
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