Comment at end
18th June 2010
Just as the Quartet’s Middle East representative Tony Blair says Israel’s decision on the blockade “is an important step towards easing the lives of Palestinians in Gaza”, Syria’s president says “there is no chance that the Palestinians or the Arab world will strike a peace deal with the current Israeli government.”
DESPITE today’s agreement, brokered it would seem with the help of Mr Blair on behalf of the International Quartet (UN, USA, EU, Russia) – DESPITE this, Assad says “NO CHANCE”!?
On whose behalf does Syria’s president speak?
His own country’s only? Gaza’s? Hamas’s? Iran’s? Lebanon’s?
It’s time we asked WHY Assad thinks there is “no chance”.
But not ask WHY of Israel. We must ask why of Syria, Lebanon, Iran and even Turkey.
Watch the Syrian President’s interview here:
ISRAEL TO EASE GAZA BLOCKADE!
No, Mr al-Assad. You cannot get away with trying to sound conciliatory towards all while seeing fault only on ONE side.
Full statement from Tony Blair (Office website) follows:
Responding to the Israeli Government’s change in policy towards Gaza, Quartet Representative Tony Blair said:
“I welcome the Government of Israel’s decision to liberalise the policy on Gaza. It is an important step towards easing the lives of Palestinians in Gaza. As I have said in the past days, Israel has the clear right to defend itself and protect its security. The best way to do this is to ensure that weapons cannot reach Gaza whilst allowing into Gaza the items of ordinary daily life, including materials for the construction of homes, infrastructure and services as the UN have asked, and permitting legitimate business to revive. The decision to allow foodstuffs and household items is a good start. There are key UN projects that can get the go-ahead.
“The Quartet will continue its discussions with the Israeli Govt over the coming days to flesh out the principles now agreed. I have been in close consultation with Quartet members and thank them for their co-operation. We are also examining the role of the PA and the EU at the key crossings.
“We continue to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Corporal Shalit in whose ongoing detention is totally unjustified.”
JTA: Assad: Flotilla clash could lead to war
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Syria’s President Bashar Assad said Israel’s interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla has increased the chances of war in the region.
“When you don’t have peace, you have to expect war every day, and this is very dangerous,” he said.
In an interview with the BBC that aired Thursday, Assad also said that there is no chance that the Palestinians or the Arab world will strike a peace deal with the current Israeli government.
Assad told BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen that the interception of the flotilla, which led to the deaths of nine passengers, “proved that this government is another pyromaniac government, and you cannot achieve peace with such [a] government.”
The Syrian leader said the Arab world does not have a partner for peace in Israel.
“No, we definitely don’t have a partner, we know this,” he said.
It was clear before the interception of the flotilla, Assad said, that Israel was not ready to make peace. He said Syria had “other evidence about the intentions of this government, about the intentions toward the peace, about the intentions toward the Palestinians, the intentions to kill Palestinians.”
Assad denied that he was arming Hezbollah in Lebanon and also said that Iran would continue to be Lebanon’s ally.
Bashar al-Assad interview also at the BBC