Further peace overtures from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
on Sunday do not appear to have satisfied the Syrians.
Syrian President Bashar Assad told Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri that Syria would stand by Lebanon's government and people against any possible Israeli aggression, Syria's state news agency reported Sunday evening.
According to the SANA report, Assad and Berri discussed "the repeated Israeli threats against countries of the region and Israeli extremism, which is poised to bury any chance of peace by inflaming wars in the region and taking it into the unknown."
Latest developments in Lebanon, the positive progress in Syrian-Lebanese relations and the Palestinian arena were also reportedly discussed in the meeting.
Meanwhile, during a tour of Kuneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights earlier Sunday, Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal said that last week’s warning against the Assad regime by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
was “irresponsible, barbaric and aggressive.”
He said the fact Lieberman had been “ostracized the world over” proved the “aggression of this entity (Israel)."
Bilal called for Israeli leaders to stand trial in the International Criminal Court “for damaging peace and regional security and being a hindrance to peace and world order.”
In related news,
Hizbullah official and Shura Council member Muhammad Yazbek said on
Sunday that all of Israel's cities were within Hizbullah's missile range.
"The decision on [going to] war or peace is in the hands of Israel and the US," Yazbek told the group's Manar Web site in an interview.
At Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that Israel had signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and “can do so with Syria and the Palestinians as well.”
The prime minister stressed that negotiations with Damascus could not
be dependent on preconditions which would require Israel to make
far-reaching concessions in advance.
The Turkish-mediated talks between Israel and Syria were halted last
winter, at the outset of IDF Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Syria's
insistence on mediation by "honest, capable" Turkey, Ankara's growing
hostility toward Israel, and the Goldstone Commission's harsh report on
the three-week offensive have risen as obstacles to the resumption of
negotiations of peace.
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