Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Israel is not serious about achieving peace since all facts point out that Tel Aviv is pushing the region towards war.
"Israel is not serious in achieving peace and that everything shows it is working towards a war," SANA news agency quoted Assad as saying in a meeting with visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos in Damascus on Wednesday.
Moratinos, for his part, pointed out that resolution of crises in the Middle East is a priority to the European Union. He also expressed appreciation over Syria’s positive role in establishing security and stability in the region.
Syria maintains that Israel’s withdrawal from Golan Heights is the prerequisite for peace between Damascus and Tel Aviv. Israel captured the Golan Heights following the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed the Syrian territory in 1981.
Further raising Damascus’ ire, Israeli warplanes destroyed Syria’s al-Kibar site in 2007 blaming the country of harboring a nuclear reactor there — a claim rejected by Syria.
Under the auspices of Turkey, Israel and Syria last May launched peace talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive peace agreement, but the negotiations reached a deadlock in September 2009.
Syria then withdrew from the talks in protest at Israel’s all-out military strike against the Gaza Strip — in December 2008 and January 2009 — where at least 1,400 Palestinians lost their lives to the three-week carnage.