Syria to Israel: 'Return Golan without preconditions'
- 'Return Golan without preconditions'
Tue, 03 Jun 2008
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Damascus will not accept any
preconditions for Israeli troops' withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
"Israel must be prepared to return all the Syrian land captured in
the Six Day War as part of any peace deal between the two sides,"
Assad said in his remarks published on Tuesday.
Assad's remark came as Israel had earlier called on Syria to cut its
ties with the Islamic Republic ahead of an agreement over the Golan
Israel and Syria have resumed indirect peace talks after more than a
year, with speculations running high that Tel Aviv is preparing to
give the Golan Heights back to Damascus.
The regime occupied the plateau on the 1967 Middle East war and then
annexed it later in a move which was never recognized by the
"At this stage we are not talking (with Israel) about anything else.
What is on the agenda is the return of all the land," al-Khaleej
newspaper quoted Assad as saying during a visit on Monday.
The Syrian president added that they would discuss the details
in 'direct negotiations'.
Syria seeks the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from the plateau,
vowing not to take even one step forward in negotiations before it
receives guarantees that the regime would fully withdraw from the
Israel: Iran will attack us from Golan
Tue, 03 Jun 2008
Israel says returning the Golan Heights to Syria would set the stage for an Iranian military presence on the Syrian border with Israel.
In a Tuesday tour of the Golan Heights, Israeli transportation minister Shaul Mofaz warned against an agreement to cede Golan to Syria and said an Israeli withdrawal would have dire consequences for the Zionist regime.
"As of today, the renewal of indirect talks with Syria is important in and of itself . distance between speaking and giving something up is very long. Handing over the Golan to Syria, would in effect mean the Iranians (would be) here on our borders, in the Golan Heights," he said.
Mofaz claimed that 'Golan will remain in Israel' until Syria proves that it truly wants to achieve a comprehensive peace.
His statements came following remarks by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Israel should return the occupied Golan Heights without any pre-conditions.
"At this stage we are not talking (with Israel) about anything else. What is on the agenda is the return of all lands," said the Syrian president.
Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 in a move which was internationally condemned.
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