Al-Shara- Annan conference: Syria for negotiations on grounds of Israeli withdrawal to June 4, 1967 lines
Syria-UN, Politics, 6/24/2000
In a joint press conference held with the UN Secretary General in Damascus on Friday, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara said that Syria is ready to resume negotiations with Israel at any time, if Israel is ready to resume the negotiations on the ground of withdrawal until June 4, 1967 border lines.
Replying to a question on a possible visit by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Damascus, the Syrian foreign minister said " there is nothing official so far conveyed to Syria. But I remember when I met her in Cairo 15 days ago, she said to me very clearly that please convey to the president to put Geneva summit behind us and to have fresh start in continuing of the peace process between Syria and Israel."
"In fact this is what we are looking forward, to resume the peace process on the ground of the Madrid terms of reference and the land for peace formula and definitely to continue the talks from where they ended. As far as this point is concerned, and secretary general can correct me if I am wrong, he heard from Dr. Bashar yesterday that Syria is ready for peace at anytime if the Israelis are ready to resume the peace talks and it is obvious that the June 4th 1967 line is the basis which we can never compromise on," he added.
Al-Shara said "On that ground, Syria is ready and continue to be ready. Dr. Bashar has said that on behalf of Syria and the Syrian people."
For his part the UN chief Kofi Annan said that he leaves Syria " encouraged by the discussions" he had with Bashar al-Assad. "I think that at a critical stage in the peace process in the region, I was encouraged to meet a man who is on top of the issues, he was very concise and clear in his perception on all issues he is dealing with, a man who realizes that he has an historic opportunity to play a role and I trust he will play it. I walk out with the sense that he is the son of his father," the UN chief added.
On the role played by the UN and the talks Annan had had in Damascus, al-Shara said "the talks were very good, useful and comprehensive and they did not leave any point related to the UN role whether in South Lebanon or in the region without addressing. We would like to express our satisfaction with the role of the UN in addressing the issues in the region. And I think we all know that Syria since the establishment of the UN nations pays a great respect to this organization and its role. he late President al-Assad has stressed the importance of the role of the UN in finding a just and comprehensive solution in the region. The second point I would like to refer to is the UN Secretary General and his aides would closely follow up things in south Lebanon in order to make sure that the Israeli withdrawal has been completed and to the international borders. I would like to stress again that Syria fully supports Lebanon's request for full Israeli withdrawal to the internationally-accepted borders. We like to see this UN experience succeed in South Lebanon in order to be reflected on other UN resolutions in realizing a just and comprehensive peace in the region and to achieve other Israeli withdrawals from the occupied Arab territories."
For his part Annan described his discussions with Bashar al-Assad as good. They covered developments in South Lebanon and the need to work together to keep the situation calm and the need to deal with the Israeli violations as strictly as possible and to clarify the air to make sure that this region will live in peace. He said "we still need to reaffirm the Syrian support for the Lebanese and the importance of the full implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 425 in accordance with requirements of the resolution and I like to say that Lebanon and the UN cannot have any differences on UN mandate. I have said that the withdrawal is complete to the blue line, what we are now dealing with is some violations which are being checked on the ground."
He added "In establishing the blue line, the UN did technical job looking at autographic data in the UN, in Washington and Paris, In new York, in Israel and in Beirut to define the lines that existed between the two countries. We looked at all agreements that were concluded including the French- British of the 1923 and the late 1949 armistice. On this the line has been withdrawn and we worked very closely with teams from both countries. Now that line has been drawn with the agreement of both sides, what is required is to respect that blue line."
The UN chief continued that he had instructed the UN forces on the ground, UNIFIL, to issue a weekly report of any violations beginning this Sunday. Copies will be submitted to both sides and to the UN Security Council.
On the role of the UN, the UN chief said that he would say that Bashar al-Assad had made it clear yesterday ( Thursday) that Syria is ready for peace at anytime." He indicated to me that his country has strong institutions and as we all see that transition has gone smoothly and there is continuity, there is no need for a delay in the talks." He continued " In that sense, this could be recognized as a very important message from Dr. Bashar. As far as the UN is concerned, as a secretary general, I am interested in the implementation of all UN resolutions particularly in this region. I have mentioned that we have made a positive step in implementing the 425 resolution. We should have been encouraged to see other resolutions implemented especially the 242 and 338 in order to attain a just and comprehensive peace in the region, based on land for peace formula. As a secretary general I would do whatever I can in this regard."
Annan said "In regard to the violations in South Lebanon, let me say that the people on the ground are verifying at this moment the way things are going on, and I hope by the time I get to Europe at the end of the day I get a report on the situation, and as I say at the beginning on this Sunday, weekly reports will be addressed to the security council and to all parties concerned in order to make the Secretary General to be able to report to the UN on any violations. I like to see all parties avoid any embarrassment about any violations."
Omran: Bashar al-Assad's leadership is a reflection of people's commitment
Bashar al-Assad confers with UN chief
French media and changes in Syria
Please add a link on your webiste pointing to ArabicNews.com and bookmark ArabicNews.com & subscribe to our daily email news bulletin.
| Advertise on ArabicNews.com. MyFlowers.com sold more than $2700 of flowers in one month advertising on ArabicNews.com! Make your company, and products a success. Special rate for new and small business. Inquire!Advertising Info