Syria Says Peres Lacks Middle East Peace Plan
Syria's Foreign Minister on Friday said that Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres had no plan for peace in the Middle East, despite his optimistic remarks after talks in Washington, according to news agency reports.
Following a meeting on Thursday with US President George W. Bush, Peres suggested progress was being made towards peace.
But Farouq Al Shara told Reuters that Peres was not fooling anyone.
"Peres has lost his credibility all over the Arab world. He has no peace plan. He's just trying to deceive people," Shara said following a visit to Madrid's town hall with President Bashar Al Assad.
"(Israeli Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon doesn't trust him," he said.
Political analysts have highlighted differences between Peres, a former Israeli prime minister from the Labor Party, and his boss Sharon from the Likud Party, over how to handle Palestinians trying to end Israeli military occupation and establish their own state alongside Israel.
Although Peres described Palestinian President Yasser Arafat as a peace partner during the former’s current visit to Washington, a statement by Sharon’s office, cited Thursday by the Israeli media, once again blamed the president for Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets.
Peres previously said that Arafat had "no knowledge” of plans to carry out such attacks.
Both Israeli politicians play down their differences.
Following his meeting with Bush, Peres said he sensed progress towards peace, adding this was only the start of the process, according to the agency.
Syria's Assad was in Spain this week as part of a campaign to encourage Europe to play a greater role in trying to revive the Middle East peace process and to persuade Israel to comply with UN Security Council resolutions.
The 35-year-old president made it clear that Syria saw no immediate prospects for talks with Israel and that there was no point in meeting Sharon.
"All we see shows and proves the Israelis have no desire to achieve peace with the Arabs," Assad said at a press conference. "Is the killing of hundreds of Palestinians in just a few months an expression of a desire for peace”? - Albawaba.com
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