Lieberman Rules Out Golan Withdrawal, Partnership for Peace With Syria, Says U.S. ‘Accepts all Israel Decisions’
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejects the concept of “land for peace” while accusing Syria of supporting regional “terror” groups.
In an interview with the German daily Berliner Zeitung, Lieberman accused Syria of housing the headquarters of various “terror organizations.”
“Syria supports Hezbollah and its arms trafficking into southern Lebanon. Syria supports Iran’s nuclear program,” the foreign minister told the German publication on Saturday.
“That is why I cannot see in Syria a real partner for any type of agreement,” he added.
The hardliner also rejected the ‘land for peace’ condition under which Israel should fully withdraw its forces from the occupied Golan Heights for peace with Syria.
“What have all of (Israel’s) withdrawals led to? Hezbollah and rockets. This proposal simply doesn’t work,” Lieberman said.
The two sides have so far held four rounds of indirect talks, the last of which was halted due to Israel’s incursion into the Gaza Strip in December 2008.
Earlier this month Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Damascus would resume Turkish-mediated talks should Tel Aviv agree to a full withdrawal from the plateau, which has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.
Syria formally suspended the Turkish-mediated indirect peace talks with Israel last year during Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza, but Syrian officials have not ruled out their resumption.
Earlier this month, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said his country was willing to resume indirect talks with Israel’s new government, but added that Syria would only do so if the talks focused on an Israeli withdrawal from the entire Golan Heights to lines that preceded the 1967 Six Day War.
When asked about the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and whether Israel would be willing to hold talks with the militant Palestinian group Hamas, Lieberman replied that it was “impossible.” >>>
In particular, Lieberman insisted that despite America’s support for the “two-state solution” which the Israeli administration has rejected, President Obama will not put forth any new peace initiatives unless Israel wants them to. “Believe me,” Lieberman declared, “American accepts all our decisions.” >>>