Syria says Israel is no partner for peace
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed on Tuesday with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier bilateral relations between the two countries and peace process in the region. According to SANA news agency, Assad asserted that what Syria proposes with regard to peace process are not conditions, but they are inalienable rights which can't be compromised, considering that the problem lies in the fact that there is an absence of a real Israeli partner in order to achieve peace.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem. Earlier in a joint press conference with the German visitor, al-Moallem described the talks held between Steinmeier and President al-Assad as "constructive and fruitful."
Regarding Israeli President Shimon Peres' latest statements that Israel will not return back the Golan on a "golden plate", al-Moallem said "yes, we want to restore the Golan on a golden plate because it is our land… and getting back the right is a natural thing, but not getting it back is a matter rejected by the international community."
Regarding the Israeli claims on the ongoing relations of Syria with Hizbullah and Iran, the Syrian minister said "this issue is considered within the preconditions, and any one who wants to know what will happen after the restoration of Golan, he should come to negotiations that will decide what will happen later."
As for Syria's willingness to conduct direct talks with Israel in light of the US President Barack Obama's initiative, al-Moallem said "we consider President Obama's stance as positive, and we believe that the available opportunity for achieving a comprehensive peace is narrowing, but we always see that Israel is the side that uses up time in this region."
On the revival of direct negotiations, al-Moallem said "We still believe that completing the indirect talks through Turkey is the safest way for launching towards useful direct talks, but before anything, we want to make sure that there is an Israeli political decision to achieve peace."