Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara warned that the situation in the Middle East is "explosive" and accused Israel of trying to force the Palestinians into a new exodus.
"The situation in the region is explosive," Shara told a press conference after handing over a message to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"We are happy to have, fundamentally, the same points of view as Iran," Shara said after talks with Khatami on the escalating Middle East violence, amid new Arab efforts to bring peace to the region.
"Israel does not want peace. It showed it by rejecting the Saudi peace plan even before knowing its content," he told reporters flanked by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi.
"Israel's refusal to implement UN resolutions cast doubt over the legitimacy of this country, which are based on these same resolutions," Shara said.
"It seems that the Israelis want to implement a plan to force the Palestinians into exodus," he said. Shara also dismissed as "unacceptable" the support by some US officials of Israeli views.
Shara described the Beirut summit as "very important because it will convene as the situation worsens, houses are being destroyed and Palestinian children killed.
"At the summit we will honor the intifada and the courage of the Palestinian people," Shara said of the 17-month-old Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule.
Kharazi, meanwhile, said Iran's position on the Saudi peace initiative was "clear". "Everything that will allow the return of the Palestinian refugees to their land, (and) the liberation of Jerusalem is certainly positive," he said.
But he stressed that the Saudi proposals were mere "ideas rather than a plan", adding that he did not doubt Prince Abdullah's good faith. "The liberation of Jerusalem, the withdrawal from the Golan and the return of the refugees must be mentioned in it so that it could be considered a concrete plan," Kharazi said.
Meanwhile, Iran’s President Mohammad Khatami said Wednesday Iran would follow a policy of detente and would not be influenced by attempts to stir up tension, reported the presidential information and news organization.
Following the al Shara, Khatami added that Iran would put forth peace proposals based on justice adding Iran rejects attempts to rise tension in the region.
He reiterated that peace would not be established with slogans or by force and stressed ending of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and restoring the rights of the Palestinians people. Establishing peace without taking into account the needs and rights of the millions of the Palestinian refugees is only a dream, Khatami said.
Despite Israel's enmity and conspiracies propagated towards Iran, it calls for peace, security and tranquility in the Middle East, Khatami reiterated. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )