bashar assad 311.
(photo credit: AP)
The US has secretly communicated with Syrian officials in recent weeks in hopes
of brokering a comprehensive peace agreement between Syria and Israel, the
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai reported on Saturday.
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According to a report by
the German news agency DPA, sources told Al-Rai that the US was contacted by
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem with the message that Damascus was ready
to renew dialogue with the Israelis and reach a peace deal.
as these appear periodically in the Arab press.
The Prime Minister’s
Office did not respond to the report.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe
Ya’alon, when asked about the possibility of negotiations with Syria at a
cultural event in Mevaseret Zion on Saturday, said that unlike his father Hafez
Assad, the current President of Syria Bashar Assad does not see the road to
Washington running through Jerusalem.
“I am in favor of stretching a hand
in peace to all actors in the region, but we should not be confused,” Ya’alon
“There are tremendous differences between Bashar Assad and his
father. Hafez Assad lived in a unipolar world and knew the road to Washington
ran through Jerusalem. Bashar Assad does not live in a unipolar world, and he
prefers Teheran over Washington. He also is not convinced that the road to
Washington runs through Jerusalem.”
Recently publicized US classified
diplomatic cables released on the WikiLeaks website shows a split inside Israel
between Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry officials regarding
A cable written from the US embassy in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2009,
indicated that while Foreign Ministry officials believed Syria was only
interested in a diplomatic process because it would give it international
legitimacy, Defense Ministry officials viewed the Syrian-Iranian alliance as a
“marriage of convenience,” and believed that Syria might be serious about
removing itself from Iran and withdrawing support for Hizbullah in exchange for
reconciliation with the West, especially the US, and the return of the Golan
In the cable, Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry’s
diplomatic-security bureau, was quoted as asserting that peace with Syria was
“critical to achieving Israel-Palestinian peace due to Syria’s ability to
According to the sources quoted in the Kuwaiti paper
on Saturday, The Obama administration believes peace between Israel and Syria
would constitute a breakthrough that would help kick-start stalled Israeli-
Palestinian peace talks.
The paper quoted senior adviser to US President
Barack Obama, Dennis Ross as saying the Syrians were prepared to distance
themselves from Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas and cooperate with the US in the war
These recent developments, according to the paper, were
responsible for Obama’s decision Wednesday to bypass the Senate and appoint
Robert Ford as the first US ambassador to Damascus since 2005.