President Bashar al-Assad on Monday held talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two leaders expressed their readiness to help in forming an Iraqi government capable of improving the internal situation. Al-Assad said: "We focused in out talks on the political topic. It's natural to give priority to the Iraqi issue.
There is a government-formation process which is supposed to have started right after the end of elections in Iraq. More than six months have passed and a government hasn't been formed yet." And the Syrian leader added: "It's natural for the countries neighboring Iraq to be concerned, and at the same time hopeful concerning any change taking place in Iraq, because it affects us negatively or positively according to the situation in Iraq on the political or security levels. "Definitely, to discuss this topic does not mean that we, as Iraq's neighboring countries, Syria, Turkey or others, are speaking on behalf of the Iraqis. The work and decision remain for the Iraqis''.
Al-Assad said that the peace talks with Israel and the international moves and developments in this regard were an important part of the talks. "The moves and initiatives of some countries to push the peace process forwards on the Syrian, Palestinian or Lebanese tracks were also discussed in addition to briefing Premier Erdogan on the ideas proposed by these countries and the discussions with them the during meeting," the Syrian president said. "We can't tell for sure if they could push the peace process forward or not. That's why I have nothing to add to this point, even though the atmosphere is not positive.''
"There are initiatives and that is something new, but the atmosphere, the conditions and the requirements of the peace process depend on the political main parts; the Arab and Israeli sides. Every one knows that the Arab side wants peace, but the Israeli side is working in the opposite direction," al-Assad said. "We are not considering the statements issued by the Israeli government or other figures that have a role inside Israel which reflect a serious lack of will to reach peace, we are more concerned with the Israeli government's exercises, continued killing of Palestinians, continued siege on Gaza Strip, repeated murders in the West Bank and attempts to Judaize Jerusalem".
"Those exercises are not new, but apparently the international circumstances seemingly became prepared to support Israel in this direction," president al-Assad said. He also slammed the new legislation passed in Israel regarding the Jewish oath. "The racist decisions made by Israel, the latest of which was related to the law of swearing loyalty by the non-Jews to the Israeli Jewish state or the Jewish state in Israel. For us, this expresses the Israeli fascism as embodied in killing and such laws. All these points don't give any serious indications towards peace.''