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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chinless ophthalmologist willing to talk to anyone 'without preconditions'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is willing to talk to anyone 'without preconditions.' Unless those preconditions are his own.
"As long as there are preconditions, there won't be negotiations," Assad said during an interview with the Hizbullah-affiliated al-Manar television station.

In addition, the Syrian president said that he was interested in restarting indirect talks with Israel, regardless of who is chosen in the coming elections. He cautioned, however, that "if whoever is elected is not willing to withdraw from the Golan to the [pre-1967 border], there won't be negotiations."
Got that? Of course, Assad's insistence on going back to the June 4, 1967 line (which on the Syrian frontier is even worse than the 1949 armistice line) isn't a precondition now, is it?

And of course, it's Israel's fault that we haven't yet reached an agreement with this 'reasonable gentleman.' But he's got Olmert down pat.
"The indirect contacts between Israel and Syria proved that Israel does not want peace," he said. "In Israel, there really isn't the will to achieve peace."

"If Olmert came today and said that he was ready for peace, what would we say to him? We would say that he is a criminal, and that we don't conduct negotiations with criminals," Assad continued, adding that in recent weeks contact has been made with Israel, "but Israel didn't express any willingness for peace talks."

"We [learned] that Israel only understand the language of force," the Syrian president asserted.
Public opinion here is overwhelmingly against leaving the Golan Heights, a plateau that looks down on all of northern Israel. Anyone wonder why?


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