By Wordbulletin staff
Syrian Expatriate Affairs Minister Buthaina Shaaban said Monday that Turkey was the third party mediating in negotiations between Israel and Syria in an interview with the BBC network.
During an interview conducted in Arabic, Shaaban announced that though there has not yet been a meeting between the two countries' leaders, there have been steps taken by a "friendly third party mediator – Turkey."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Syrian President Bashar Assad recently admitted that there have been negotiations between the two sides, mediated by a third party.
Shaaban added that "Assad said he would update the Syrian people in the event of progress. Syria does not support confidential maneuvers, but rather public ones."
However, she said Syria is ready to negotiate peace on the condition of Israel's full withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
"Syria has always supported peace, but a just peace based on international decisions and restoration of all rights," she noted.
"Syria has supported peace since the 70's, but Israel has not been for it. Israel talks about peace and scatters peaceful declarations, but when it comes time to pay the price for peace, Israel has never proved itself willing to pay."
Shaaban also said the government would not hasten to retrieve Syrian land. "The Golan Heights are Syria's lands and will be returned eventually. Syria prefers the land be returned peacefully and through negotiations for peace.
Last Mod: 22 Nisan 2008, 14:32