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(photo credit: AP)
Negotiations on a peace agreement between Israel and Syria should start immediately, for the benefit of both peoples, Syrian legislators told Kadima MKs Majallie Whbee and Amira Dotan in Jordan on Sunday.
The Kadima lawmakers were attending a forum of parliamentarians from several Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria that was organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Whbee said there was a consensus among representatives from all the countries to return to the negotiating table and end violence and terror.
"The agreement of all the countries to negotiate is a ringing slap in the face to the extremist policies of the Hamas government and its administration of the Palestinian Authority," Whbee said.
Elham Homsi, who chairs the Syrian legislature's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, surprised Whbee and Dotan when she said that contacts between the two countries were not proceeding fast enough and that the younger generation would one day complain that it was a waste that Israel and Syria did not sign a peace agreement sooner.
The other Syrian legislator at the event, Nimer el-Gonam, said Israel and Syria should speak directly, without American involvement. Both Syrian parliamentarians complained to Whbee about the money their countries wasted on security that could be devoted to education and development. The Syrian parliament, called the People's Council, has no independent authority. The country is run by President Bashar Assad and his ruling Ba'ath party.
Whbee, who is Druse and consequently a native Arabic speaker, heads the Israeli delegation to the Euro-Med parliament and is deputy chairman of the organization's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.