Barak and peace with Syria
Syria-Israel, Politics, 3/28/2000
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel has not closed the door before continuing peace negotiations with Syria, but it will continue to ensure its vital strategic and security interests.
The Israeli radio quoted Barak as saying in a speech before the Israeli One Israel parliamentary on Monday that the Clinton - al-Assad summit in Geneva concluded in explaining stances.
Meanwhile, Israeli sources in Jerusalem on Monday expressed their conviction that Syria has not yet said its final word in the framework of the peace process with Israel, despite the failure of al-Assad - Clinton summit.
These sources said the US will continue intensive efforts to resume negotiations between Syria and Israel.
For his part, the Israeli Army's chief of staff, Shaoul Mofaz, said it is premature to drop the curtain on the Syrian-Israeli negotiations, stressing that Israel keeps the door open for continuing the negotiation process.
On the other hand, Mofaz told journalists on Monday that the Israeli Army prefers withdrawal from the security zone in south Lebanon in accordance with an agreement, but this army will continue simultaneously its preparations to carry out a unilateral withdrawal from south Lebanon until July, according to the decisions of the Israeli government.
Mofaz said that in case "the aggressions by the Hizbullah party continue after the withdrawal, the Israeli Army will be obliged to fight it back."
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