PM denies that Syria preparing for war

Contrasts earlier comment by Sneh that Damascus preparing for Israeli attack.

olmert 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
olmert 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that his office had not "received any warnings recently" that Syria was making immediate preparations for a war. The prime minister's remarks contrasted a statement made earlier Monday morning by Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, who told Army Radio that Syria was preparing to defend itself against an Israeli attack against their country, but not to launch an offensive. "Syria is definitely preparing for an Israeli attack … but no one has any intelligence that proves Syria is actually planning to make use of those means [in its possession] to attack Israel this coming summer," said Sneh. "We must approach this by preparing for the worst, even though we have no proof that anybody plans to attack Israel this year," he said. "I do not think that there are any differences of opinion on this subject within the IDF, believe me, because I know," Sneh added. Olmert made the comment prior to departing on a three day trip to Germany and Italy. One point of friction on the trip could be German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's advocacy of engaging Syria in negotiations, as Olmert has criticized Steinmeier for traveling to Damascus this month. AP contributed to this report