US plays down possible revival of Israel-Syria peace talks
The United States on Wednesday played down the significance of a possible revival of peace negotiations between Israel and Syria, claiming Damascus has so far shown no desire to play a role in helping bring about peace and stability in the Middle East.
"Let's take a look at Syria's behavior over the recent past and I don't think you are going to find many indications of Syria showing the rest of the world that they are interested in playing a constructive, positive role in trying to bring about a more peaceful, secure region," State Department Spokesman Sean McCormick said.
"We would welcome if the Syrian government would take the opportunity to actually demonstrate that it will follow up on its words when it says it wants to play a positive role in the region (but we) have not seen any evidence of that, though," he concluded.
His remarks came as several Israeli officials hinted lately that Israel might be willing to resume peace talks with Syria.
Speaking at a press briefing hours after a meeting between Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transportation Shaul Mofaz, McCormick, however, said Washington would not tell Israel what to do in terms of foreign policy issues.
"We are not going to dictate to the Israeli government what pathways they take in their foreign policy.
"We are not going to manage Israeli foreign policy," McCormick said.
Nearly two weeks ahead of his scheduled visit to Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said earlier today "Israel does not want war with Syria ... We must avoid miscalculations that are liable to lead to a security deterioration."
McCormack said Rice's talks with Mofaz centered on the Israeli-Palestinian track, Iran, Lebanon and Syria. Last Mod: 07 Haziran 2007, 18:31