US won't stand in way of Israel-Syria talks: Rice

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday her government would not stand in the way of Israeli-Syrian peace talks but she still claimed Damascus a destabilising influence.

US won't stand in way of Israel-Syria talks: Rice
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday her government would not stand in the way of Israeli-Syrian peace talks but she still claimed Damascus a destabilising influence.

'We're not standing in the way. If Israel and Syria believe that they can come to agreement, then they should come to agreement,' Rice told reporters travelling with her to the Middle East.

'We haven't seen anything in Syrian behaviour to this point that suggests that Syria is doing anything but acting in a destabilising way in the Middle East,' she said.

'But, you know, the United States is never going to stand in the way of states that want to make peace.'

Rice arrived in Jerusalem on Wednesday for separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a bid to revive the long dormant peace process and lay the ground for an international conference to be held later this year.

Her remarks came days after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokeswoman said that Israel was ready to start unconditional negotiations with Syria, in an offer repeated by President Shimon Peres on Tuesday.

But the overture received a frosty reception in Damascus, which accused Israeli warplanes of violating its territory two weeks ago.


AFP
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2007, 12:48
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