Peres: Assad won't get Golan if he keeps ties with Iran, Hizbullah

Syrian President Bashar Assad must realize that he won't receive the Golan Heights on a silver platter while he retains his connections with Iran and strengthens Hizbullah, President Shimon Peres told visiting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday morning. Responding to Steinmeier's inquiry as to whether the Israeli leader had a message he wished to convey to Damascus, Peres said that Assad should not be shy, since whoever wants to promote peace for his people must conduct direct negotiations with no preconditions. The German foreign minister is in the region on a two-day trip in a bid to promote peace talks between Israel and its neighbors. Besides Peres, Steinmeier is set to hold talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem. He will also visit Lebanon and Syria.