Syrian president Bashar Assad said Monday that Israel was the obstacle to peace in the region. "The continuity of the Israeli occupation of Arab territories in the Golan, Palestine and Lebanon is the real source of chaos in the region," Assad said at a banquet held in honor of Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo. "Peace negotiations were blocked due to the absence of an Israeli true will for peace and the retraction of its international role, as well as because of the American full bias towards Israel," Sana, a Syrian news agency, quoted Assad saying. "The international community should be aware that stability, security and peace in the region will not be achieved unless a just and comprehensive solution based on international legitimacy resolutions is found," Assad said. Assad also hailed reform steps taken by president Obasanjo and expressed Syria's care for what was happening in the African continent. Obasanjo thanked Assad for his warm welcome and emphasized that Nigeria hoped all concerned parties and the international group would exert intensive efforts for the realization of peace in the Middle East.