The latest such leak came from Alon Liel, a former Israeli diplomat involved in back-channel talks that led to the current peace negotiations, in which Syria is seeking to retrieve the Syrian Golan Heights that Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 war.
"They are asking not only for the Golan Heights, but a change in Washington that will break the Syrian isolation internationally," Mr. Liel was quoted as saying in London’s Daily Telegraph. "I also think they will not do it unless they are assured they can have an alternative to Iran."
The former envoy’s remarks were similar to those made by a top French government official, who privately told a few Arab journalists in Paris last week that Syria has sent "some signs" it was willing to distance itself from Iran.
The source, who was not identified, said Syria was seeking France’s good offices with Washington for a rapprochement and to persuade the United States that real progress in the peace process can only be made with American engagement.
Syrian President Bashar Assad and his foreign minister, Walid Mualem, have on a couple of occasions asked for U.S. involvement in these negotiations. But U.S. officials have been reluctant to open up to Syria until they have a commitment that it would disengage itself from Tehran, as well as from anti-Israeli Palestinian and Lebanese groups described as "terrorists." " Middle East Times
This has been developing for a long time. Bashar Assad’s Syria has been seeking an opening for a new beginning with the United States for many years. They have tried to approach the Bush Administration above the table, below the table, around the table, over the table, but, to no avail.
Inspired by the leadership of the likes of Paul Wolfowitz (who breaks out in a rash at the sound of the Assad name), the Bushies have persisted in their own peculiarly Middle Eastern style of diplomacy. In that school of diplomatic work, one demands the pre-emptive surrender of the other party to one’s maximum demands in the expectation that the actual negotiation will concern the rehabilitation of the penitent. Amen. Amen. Ahhmen!
Yes. The Syrians want a relationship to replace that which they have with Iran. What a dastardly, underhanded thing to try for.
I have a thought. Perhaps the Syrians could send a mission to Libya to study the methodology of Qaddhafi’s surrender of his fearsome WMD programs. That worked for him.
I assure you that the tourism will be better in Syria than in Libya. I recommend a stop in the Damascus bazaar followed by an expedition to Krak des Chevaliers (Qala’at al Husn) pl