Damascus renews backing to crown prince Abdullah's initiative
Syria-Israel, Politics, 3/15/2002
Damascus on Thursday stressed that Israel has to approve complete withdrawal from the territories it occupied in 1967 before Syria will agree to making talks on peace conditions, noting simultaneously that it is in complete compliance with the Saudi position voiced in the initiative launched in February by the Saudi crown prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz.
The Syrian ambassador in Washington Rustom al-Zou'bi said in a lecture he delivered at George Town university in Washington "our position is identical with the Saudi position and we do support the Saudi ideas relating to peace," in the region.
The Saudi foreign minister prince Saud al-Faisal announced in Egypt last Sunday that the Saudi offer is "complete peace " for "complete withdrawal" in a step which was seen by observers as an amendment to the original initiative proposed by the Saudi crown prince which stated "complete normalization" for complete withdrawal."
Al-Zou'bi said "we are waiting to hear from the Israeli government its position towards the Arab thoughts and the Arab initiative." He added "Are they ( the Israelis ) ready for peace. If Israel is ready to pullout from the Golan heights until June 4, 1967 border lines, we will be then ready to discuss the requirements of peace which include: normalization of relations, the questions of waters and equal security measures, which all come later."
Al-Zou'bi considered that the Syrian support to the Saudi initiative does not change Damascus' traditional position towards the peace process.
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