Livni: Syrians must do more than just say they want peace

Opposition leader skeptical about Damascus's overtures to the West; slams Iran for blaming Israeli-Palestinian conflict for ME extremism.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 4, 2011 15:43
1 minute read.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni 311 Ariel J. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday said that Syria announcing they are interested in reaching a peace agreement with Israel is not enough.

"Syria is signaling a willingness to come closer to the West, but that's not enough," Livni said at a conference at the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv. "Syria needs to make a more serious decision than just stating that it is interested in a peace agreement with Israel. Peace isn't eating Humus in Damascus, it's changing the geo-political situation in the region," she added.

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Livni said that Syria had joined the coalition of extreme Islamists to advance the interests of Damascus, not because of any ideological connection to its beliefs.

The opposition leader discussed Iran as well, stating that some nations were joining the Islamic Republic's camp because they doubt the world will prevent Teheran from becoming "the bully in the neighborhood."

She praised the US for calling Iran's invitation to world leaders to tour its nuclear facilities a "ploy" meant to lessen sanctions against Teheran.

Livni called on the world to toughen the economic sanctions against Iran and add to them sanctions that delegitmize Iran's leaders.

The opposition leader also decried Iran's influence in the Middle East, saying the Islamic Republic tries to be "more Arab than the Arab states and more Palestinian than the Palestinians."

She denounced Iran for trying to blame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the region's extremism.

"Iran uses the conflict to gain legitimacy and support from radical players in the region," she said.


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