Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President declared that Syria is "not pessimistic" about peace with Israel, during his meeting with the visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique.
"We are not pessimistic, although 10 years have passed without anything being realised," al-Assad told Pique, as quoted by the official SANA news agency. "The current Israeli government reflects the opinion of the Israeli street. Syria will continue to wait until the people show a desire for peace," he conveyed.
"Syria has always wanted a peace based on international resolutions and the principle of land for peace," Assad mentioned. Syria "is not concerned about particular individuals but rather about the conditions needed for peace in the region," the Syrian ruler told his guest.
"The most important condition is the trust that the parties who are sponsoring (negotiations) can inspire to make them work," al-Assad asserted.
Pique arrived in Damascus on Thursday to look into ways of relaunching the Syrian-Israeli peace negotiations, a source close to his delegation told AFP.
In a related development, Israeli Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres said Thursday in an interview to the Kuwaiti daily A Rai Al Aam that Israel has recently received positive signs from Damascus indicating Syria’s interest to resume peace negotiations, which came to a halt two years ago.
According to the daily, Peres said that Israel was willing to go back to the negotiating table with Syria, without any preconditions, on the basis of U.N. Security Council’s resolution 242 and 338.
When asked about Syrian president Bashar al Assad, who took over after his late father Hafez, Peres said “He is a young President, but what’s important is not changing presidents, but changing policy”.
The Syrian ruler is prepared to renew negotiations with Israel from the point at which they ended during the reign of his late father Hafez Assad, according to former U.S. Ambassador to Syria and Israel Edward Djerejian. Djeriejian made these comments after a Tuesday night meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon, according to Tel Aviv based HaAretz.
Djerejian met earlier in the week with president Bashar al Assad. Up until now, the Syrian leader has opposed talks with Israel and has demanded that they be connected to the Palestinian issue. (Albawaba.com)