Syrian FM: We're not in a hurry to have an unjust peace
Syria, Politics, 8/18/1998
In an interview with the Lebanese LBC satellite station on Monday night, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa stressed that Syria is not in a hurry to have an unjust peace.
"If there is a chance for a just peace we will not hesitate. If a genuine and comprehensive peace is proposed which provides for Israel's full withdrawal from the Golan and from south Lebanon and the western Bekaa, we will never hesitate to respond," al-Sharaa said.
The Syrian Foreign Minister added that this stand stresses cohesion between the Syrian and Lebanese peace negotiation tracks with Israel. He expressed his optimism concerning the Arab future, noting that Israel won't achieve victory, whatever conventional or non-conventional power it has. He stressed that Syria cannot resume negotiations except from the point at which they broke off and will not give up any of her rights. He called upon Europe to seriously contribute to salvaging the Middle East peace process.
On the relations between Syria and Lebanon, al-Sharaa said Syria wants to see a united, independent and integrated Lebanon. al-Sharaa also confirmed the importance of the decisive relationship between Syria and Lebanon, the unification of the Syrian and Lebanese peace tracks and the failure of all Israeli attempts to separate them.
On the relations between Syria and Turkey, al-Sharaa noted Turkey's non-commitment to the agreements, signed during the visit of the Turkish President Suleyman Demirel's to Syria in 1993 on sharing the water of Euphrates, has created a problem.
He indicated the role played by Israel in the problem of sharing the water through Israel's desire to buy the water from Turkey. This, he said, encourages Turkey not to run the water to Syria in the future, a situation which would create a crisis between Syria and Turkey for not reaching a final agreement in this connection.
Concerning the Turkish-Israeli alliance, al-Sharaa said that such an alliance is not only directed against Syria, but rather against all Arabs. On the Kurdistani Labor Party (PKK) and Turkish accusation of a claimed Syrian support, the the foreign minister said that "through those accusations" Turkey seeks to divert the attention of these internal affairs to outside its borders and to hold others responsible for that.
On a question dealing with holding an Arab summit conference, the Syrian FM stressed: "Syria will not obstruct an Arab summit, even the one which gives a one percent positive results. Yet, we fear a summit will be held to give an adverse messages to others in that the Arabs are not able to do anything that preserves their rights and interests."
Answering a question relating to Iraq, al-Sharaa asserted Syria's desire to maintain Iraq's unity. "It as a matter of principle. We are against those who try to partition Iraq," he said. He called for lifting the embargo on the Iraqi people within the framework of UN Security Council resolutions.
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