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  • » 07/28/2008, 00.00

    SYRIA - ISRAEL

    Syrian ambassador to the United States, "historic opportunity for Israel to make peace"



    The diplomat, believed to be close to president Assad, affirms that with the restitution of the Golan Heights to his country, the Jewish state could put an end to hostility with the entire Arab world.

    Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - "Let's sit together, make peace and finish once and for all this state of war" between Israel and Syria: with these words from its ambassador in Washington, Imad Mustafa, Damascus is re-issuing its "offer" of peace. The statement has been emphasized today by the Israeli press, and also reported in various Arab newspapers - but not the Syrian ones - and is considered important both because Imad Mustafa is a high-level diplomat, and because he is considered an adviser to president Bashar Assad.

    The statement from the Syrian diplomat in the United States took place during an interview with the movement Pro-Israel Americans for Peace Now, connected to the Israeli group Peace Now. The ambassador did not limit himself to speaking of the possibility of a bilateral peace agreement, but also maintained that this could bring an end to hostilities with the entire Arab world. "The negotiations", he said, "are a historic opportunity for Israel to make peace, not just with Syria and Lebanon, but with the whole Arab world". For this, "Israel must accept Syria's legitimate demand and understand that it will not achieve peace on the northern border as long as it is holding the Golan Heights".

    The indirect negotiations currently taking place between Jerusalem and Damascus with the mediation of Turkey have Syria asking for the restitution of the Golan Heights, an elevated plane of about 1250 square kilometers of strategic importance and rich in water resources, conquered by the Israelis during the war of 1967.

    Israel's position seems to be more complex. According to unofficial information that has not been denied, Jerusalem, in addition to peace, wants the end of Syrian support for Hamas and Hezbollah, and its distancing from Iran. And it is not to be taken for granted that the restitution would concern the entire expanse of the Heights, on which there are many Israeli settlements. According to Israeli experts, Syria is willing to distance itself from Tehran, Hamas, and Hezbollah, on the condition of economic and political support from the United States. But this puts off the prospect for peace until the next U.S. presidency. At the beginning of this month, in fact, the United States ambassador in Israel, Richard Jones, affirmed that the United States is not against the new negotiations between Israel and Syria, but does not want to take part in them.

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    See also

    04/07/2008 ISRAEL - SYRIA
    "Constructive" peace talks between Jerusalem and Damascus
    In the talks, mediated by Turkey, the next meeting was set for the end of July: at that session, they will decide whether to open direct negotiations. But the U.S. ambassador to Israel says that his country does not want to take part in the negotiations, as Syria would like.

    27/01/2009 SYRIA - UNITED STATES
    Assad: ready to dialogue with Obama, but "without conditions"
    The Syrian president speaks of positive signs from the new American administration, and reveals that officials close to the new president have already visited Damascus. Talks with Israel remain frozen.

    15/09/2016 10:06:00 SYRIA - UN
    UN: basic aid to Syria, the US and Russia must keep out warring factions

    Ban Ki-moon appeals  for the distribution of food and basic necessities. For days a convoy has been blocked on the Turkish border. Situation still insecure. Washington and Moscow agree on the extension of the truce for another 48 hours. Situation in east Aleppo critical, 250 thousand people trapped.

     



    07/09/2016 09:30:00 SYRIA
    Rebels claim chlorine barrel bombs used against civilians in Aleppo. No confirmation

    They claim the  gas was used during the raid in the Sukari area. At least 80 people injured, with severe breathing problems. However there is no independent confirmation of the news. Opposition leaders are meeting in London to seek a new transition plan. Even the Saudis are pushing for a truce.

     



    19/09/2016 16:44:00 SYRIA
    For vicar of Aleppo, the US raid against the Syrian army was not a mistake

    People are hoping for a ceasefire extension, but there is a widespread scepticism. For Mgr Georges Abou Khazen, the US attack on Saturday "threatens the fragile truce." During the current hiatus of peace, the Christian community has filled the churches for two celebrations dedicated to Mother Teresa. Meanwhile, the missionaries continue their work in Aleppo.





    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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