Likud MK: Israel must freeze talks with Syria

Steinitz says talks should not continue while Syria arms our enemies; Vilan: Olmert did the right thing.

Steinitz 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Steinitz 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
"A scenario in which S-300 or Iskander type missiles reach Syria is a dangerous scenario," Likud MK Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio on Thursday. Steinitz was commenting on reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad proposed to Russia to host batteries of the short-range Iskander, as a response to the United States' signing an agreement with Poland to place a missile defense system on its soil, a move that Russia opposes. "We have brought Syria to this situation," Steinitz said, referring to the renewed standing of Syria on the international scene since the announcement several months ago by both Jerusalem and Damascus that Israel and Syria would resume peace talks. "We must freeze talks with Syria until it stops calling on Moscow to arm Israel's enemies, and until [Damascus itself] stops transferring arms to Hizbullah. Syria's Assad was scheduled to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Thursday. On the other side of the political spectrum, Meretz chairman Avshalom Vilan suggested that Israel should take advantage of the relative warming up of relations with Syria in order to "cut the Gordian knot between Syria, Iran and Hizbullah." "It is hard, but possible," to separate Assad from Iran's grasp, Vilan said, adding that "[Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert is doing the right thing by pushing peace talks with Syria."