'Rabin murder prevented peace deal'

Former Syrian VP says Assad and Rabin were close to reaching an agreement.

March 10, 2006 12:38
bashar assad looking regal 298

bashar assad 298 88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

"The murder of Yitzhak Rabin prevented a peace deal between Israel and Syria," said former Syrian Vice President, Abed al-Halim Khadem, to the Nazareth daily al-Sinara, on Friday. Khadem told the paper that Rabin and Assad were very close to reaching an agreement. Now in exile in France, Khadem has, in the past few months, unleashed unprecedented attacks at the Syrian regime and its leader, Bashar Assad. In January Khadem accused Assad for direct responsibility for the assassination of former Lebanese President Rafik al-Hariri, and said, "Assad's regime has already begun to fall, and I don't believe his regime will last past the end of this year." Khaddam has gone as far as to announce that he intended to lead a revolution in the Syrian regime in order to bring about Assad's ouster. Following those public statements, the Syrian parliament decided unanimously to put the former vice president on trial for high treason.

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