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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 – CHINA
    Holy See has expressed “grave concern” over the fate of Mgr Shao Zhumin, held by police for more than a month

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The bishop of Wenzhou (Zhejiang), who belongs to the underground community, is said to be undergoing brainwashing to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Since China and the Holy See resumed talks three years ago, this is the first time that the Holy See Press Office speaks about a detained bishop. The faithful have felt too much pain over the Vatican’s extended silence. Germany’s ambassador in Beijing, Michael Clauss, has talked about the case. The Vatican’s press office calls on the faithful to pray for Bishop Shao Zhumin and “the path of the Catholic Church in China.”


    VATICAN
    Pope: The Churches of the East are alive, despite persecution and terrorism



    Receiving the participants at the "Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches" Assembly, Francis recommends the formation of the clergy. "Let us not forget that in the East even today, Christians - no matter whether Catholics, Orthodox, or Protestants - spill their blood as a seal of their witness."


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