Syrian President Bashar Assad said his country will not recognize Israel before a peace accord is reached, and that democracy is not a goal for Syria.
In a French television interview, Assad said that "it is impossible for recognition to occur before a peace accord." He said there would be "reciprocal recognition" if and when such an accord was reached.
Assaid said earlier Thursday that Syria had put forth a proposal for peace with longtime foe Israel. Assad held talks in Damascus with France's president.
Assad added that Syria's goal was stability and that democracy was a "means to improve the country and reintroduce freedoms."
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