Syria's Assad: Middle-East peace '\'further away than ever'\'; says Iraqis must select own government
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that Middle East peace is more distant than ever denouncing Israel's "racist" policy against Palestinians and Arabs.
Speaking before a dinner event with visiting Spanish King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia on Monday, President Assad emphasized that Damascus sought a "just and global peace" in the region based on U.N. resolutions stipulating Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories.
"Peace is further away than ever," he stated.
"Rather than advancing along the path of peace, the Israeli government has intensified its policy of repression against the Palestinian people by bombarding houses and assassinating the citizens," he said.
Furthermore, Assad denounced Israel's construction of the so-called "security wall" around the West Bank which he said "annexes Palestinian territories".
Meanwhile, he also expressed the hope for "stability and unity" in Iraq.
"The Iraqis must choose their own government and the U.N. should play an essential role to help them overcome the destruction caused by the war", waged there by U.S.-led troops, he added.
In addition, Assad said he hoped that Syria could seal an association accord with the European Union (EU) "in the near future".
On his part, the visiting Spanish King stressed "the important role played by Syria" in the Middle East.
He said Madrid was very concerned by the situation in the region, agreeing with Assad that a durable solution should be based on U.N. resolutions and the principle of land-for-peace.
However, to guarantee security and stability throughout the world it was necessary to end the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, he added. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)