Syria Condemns any Partial Agreements between Israel and Arabs
Syria on Monday condemned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's proposal to reach a partial peace deal with the Palestinians, saying such agreements were the source of "all the Arabs' ills."
"Partial accords are at the origin of all the Arabs' ills and it is thus illogical, no matter what the circumstances, to accept such agreements," said Al-Baath, the official newspaper of Syria's ruling party.
"The Israeli prime minister's statement supporting a partial agreement with the Palestinians shows that the region is moving in a direction opposed to peace, which is worrisome as it would be a blow to Arab rights," the newspaper said.
With deep differences blocking a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, Barak floated the idea of such a partial accord Sunday.
"While we would prefer to settle all disagreements and resolve all of the issues, we do not rule out the possibility of achieving a comprehensive and overall agreement on most issues while defining a mechanism and timeframe for negotiating a settlement on the very few remaining issues," Barak told his weekly cabinet meeting.
But Al-Baath said it would be a "deadly error" to accept a partial agreement after "the Arabs' huge victory in south Lebanon, where the Israeli occupation forces were forced to flee" in May after 22 years of military control.
The newspaper also charged that Israel, in its negotiations with the Palestinians, "is backing away from recognition of the Palestinians' legitimate rights to their land, including Jerusalem."
Israel's acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami said Saturday that the Jewish state was ready to delay any agreement on the future of the holy city's eastern sector, which Israel captured from Jordan in 1967 and annexed.
But he said in Cairo Monday that Israel was still pushing for a comprehensive framework accord including Jerusalem – DAMASCUS (AFP)
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