Syria to attend ME peace conference

Syrian FM: US behind regional instability, US-Israeli arms deal is "dangerous."

zahar and Syrian FM 298  (photo credit: AP)
zahar and Syrian FM 298
(photo credit: AP)
Syria is ready to take part in a US-sponsored international Mideast peace conference to be held later this year, despite the country's stance that Washington is behind instability in the Middle East, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Tuesday. Muallem's statements came just hours after Syria's deputy foreign minister expressed frustration with Israel's willingness to play a part in regional peace.
  • 51% of Syrians want peace if Israel leaves Golan "All of Syria's peace efforts have thus far been snubbed by Israel," Israel Radio quoted Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Migdad as having said in an interview with the pan-Arab Al Jazeera network. "The peace process should be resumed without the preconditions laid down by the US and Israel," Migdad said. "[But] if Israel chooses the path of war then Syria should be prepared for every eventuality." Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem condemned the arms deals that the US has recently signed with various regional powers, calling them "dangerous." A country that "wants to make peace [between two sides] does not arm the sides with weapons," Muallem said. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did his part to create a more positive atmosphere on Tuesday, telling graduates of the National Security College in a ceremony at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus that war was unlikely in the immediate future. "I believe, with all my heart, that this summer and the fall will not be too hot," Olmert said, trying to put to rest persistent rumors of an impending war in the North. "There is no reason to exaggerate in creating an atmosphere of the eve of war. Our neighbors know well that we prefer sitting and discussing peace with them, rather than proving to them that we are stronger." Olmert said millions of people who live to Israel's East and North want "tranquility, quality of life and quiet, just like us."