Assad: Peace possible in six months

On Paris visit, Syrian president says peace "unavoidable" but unlikely before next US election.

assad in paris 224.88 (photo credit: )
assad in paris 224.88
(photo credit: )
Peace between Syria in Israel can be achieved in a matter of months, Syrian President Bashar Assad said Sunday. He estimated six months to two years would be a likely time-frame in which the two countries could sign an agreement. However, he added that peace was likely not to be achieved until a new US administration is elected. In an interview with France-2 television, Assad said "we have no other choice than peace," but added that he doubts it will be realizable in coming months. The administration of US President George W. Bush, according to the Syrian leader, "has no vision for peace" and lacks the will to push forward the process. Assad said he had "much more hope" that peace in the region would be achievable after the United States elects a new president in November. Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed hope that Israel and Syria would soon launch direct peace talks. "We have begun a process with Syria," the prime minister said before a high-profile Paris summit. "It is indirect, but I hope they will soon become direct contacts that will allow progress on this track."