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Monday, September 13, 2010

French trying to upgrade relations with Hezbullah while restarting Israel - Syria negotiations

France has decided that the way to make peace in the Middle East is to cozy up to the Hezbullah terror organization.
Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported that French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton has asked to meet with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in order to boost relations with the organization.

According to the report, France is upgrading its dialogue with Hezbollah following concerns that an international court ruling on the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri might cause a stir in the region. The French Embassy in Beirut refused to comment.
So France wants to be in a position to console Hezbullah when and if its members are indicted for Hariri's murder? Huh?

On top of that, both France and the United States are trying to restart the Israeli - Syrian 'peace track.' One of Israel's conditions for peace with Syria is that... Syria break relations with terror organizations like Hamas and Hezbullah.
Along with the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, France and the US are acting to put in motion the political negotiations between Israel and Syria. Over the course of the holiday and yesterday, two top officials visited Israel who are responsible for talks on this channel. They met with top Israeli officials and in the next few days will go to Damascus for meetings with Syrian President Bashar Assad and with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

The Lebanese As-Safir newspaper wrote that the French official was Jean Claude Cousseran, French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s special envoy to the Israeli-Syrian talks, and Fred Hoff, deputy to special US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell, who is responsible for the Syrian-Lebanese desk for Washington. Cousseran and Hoff met with Defense Ministry officials, including Defense Minister Barak.

The paper further reported that in his visit to Damascus, Cousseran will try to clarify to what extent Syria will agree to be flexible in its demands of Israel even though, at every opportunity, Assad is firm about stressing that without a withdrawal from the Golan Heights, there will be no peace. Cousseran will also try to help get the dialogue moving on this track by means of putting pressure on the Israeli side to enter into the negotiations. France believes that if this works, the US will take on itself the role of patron of the talks.
Are the French playing both sides against the middle? And by the way, where is the pressure on the Syrian side?


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