Israeli ministers and peace with Syria
Syria-Israel, Politics, 1/12/2000
Israeli Minister of the Interior Natan Sharansky has threatened to resign from the current Israeli government of Ehud Barak.
In an interview with the Israeli Hebrew language radio on Tuesday, Sharansky said that if the Israeli government reaches an agreement with Syria that calls for giving up the Golan, he will submit his resignation, especially if he finds that Israel's approval to give up the Golan constitutes a precondition to concluding peace with Syria.
For his part, Israeli Minister of Commerce and Industry Ran Cohen said those who call for halting negotiations with the Syrians, even for a certain period of time, are opposing, thereby, reaching peace with Syria.
Cohen, has criticized the participation of several Israeli Knesset members and ministers in the current government in the demonstration which was held on Monday in Tel Aviv and was organized by the sides and parties opposing an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan and the reaching of a peace agreement with Syria.
Cohen added, "Those fear that the government will reach a peace agreement with Syria, having the backing of the majority of the Israelis, and therefore they try to obstruct the efforts of the Israeli negotiators in the hope they halt the negotiations for a while and then to definitely abrogate these negotiations," adding that a peace agreement with Syria would be a great achievement for Israel.
Cohen stated that he does not oppose the participation of ministers and Knesset members from the coalition blocs in the demonstration, especially as negotiations have not reached any results yet. He wondered "how come that ministers are demonstrating in protest of making negotiations and against opportunities to revive peace."
Cohen added that he had talked with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, that he is confident Israel will not withdraw to the June 4, 1967 border line and that the security arrangements which will be agreed upon will strengthen Israel's security.
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