Friday, May 30, 2003

Syrian Foreign Minister Al-Shara: the Roadmap should expand to include Syria and Lebanon
'Al-Shara added that the explosive situation in the Middle East resulting from the absence of peace, the developments of the Iraqi issue and the continuation of the Israeli occupation of the Golan, and the occupied Arab territories, is a common challenge for all the partners and this requires the Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied Arab territories to the line of June 1967, and the withdrawal of the occupation troops from Iraq as soon as possible to enable the Iraqi people to enjoy their national sovereignty and elect its own government by its own free will. He pointed out that the Israeli rejection of peace is hindering the establishment of a Euro- Mediterranean region that enjoy peace, stability and welfare... Al-Shara pointed out that for peace to be comprehensive it should include disarming the region of mass destruction weapons including Israel, so that the region will be free of mass destruction weapons.'

This statement represents the typical Arab position but it almost never gets a hearing in the Western media because to do so would highlight the fact that it is Israel backed by the US that have been blocking the political settlement in the Middle East. Israel is still driven by the Zionist dream of 'Greater Israel': absorbing all of the Occupied Territories and somehow getting rid of the Palestinians; while the US is still committed to the 'cops on the beat' strategy of an Israeli Sparta, a militarised dependency. However as the influence of Europe on the region continues to grow, pressure will steadily increase on both Israel and the US to back a settlement.

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