Syria on Thursday dismissed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement regarding the need to make "painful concessions" for the sake of peace while forcing Syria to cut off ties with Hizbullah and their Iranian patrons. "Olmert isn't making a single concession nor is it painful for him," Syrian Information Minister, Dr. Mohsen Bilal, told the Al-Jazeera news network. He also stated that Syria does not hide its political support for or identification with Hizbullah and Hamas. "We demand that Israel withdraw from the occupied Syrian land of the Golan," Bilal said. "Israel is an occupying force that relies on American power and, therefore, the Israelis will not be making concessions; rather [the Golan] is our right." Similarly, the Syrian minister said that if "the Government of Israel and Olmert are serious in what they say and what they've said to Turkey, they they should move on to an advanced stage of negotiations in order to return the Golan to Syrian Arab sovereignty." Bilal went on to claim that the very "notion of 'painful concession' does not exist."