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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:55, October 13, 2006
Peace with Syria should include withdrawal from Golan : Official
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Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said on Thursday that it is impossible to reach peace with Syria without an Israel's withdrawal from the Golan Heights, Israel's local daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

In an interview with the daily, Avi Dichter said that a peace agreement with Syria would have to include an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

"Those who say that the Golan Heights will remain under Israeli control after an agreement with Syria suffer from a failure in logic...they don't understand reality," said Dichter, adding that " I don't think it's possible to reach peace with Syria without an Israeli withdrawal to the international border."

Dichter, however, disagreed with the approach of putting the Syria subject off the agenda. He said that Israel needs to improve relations with Egypt and Jordan, and wait for (Syrian President Bashar) Assad to get ready for peace talks.

Meanwhile, Syria rejected Thursday Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres' invitation for Assad to visit Jerusalem, saying the Israeli gesture reflected the country's weak position after its war with Lebanon.

According to a latest poll published by professors Ephraim Yaar and Tamar Hermann of Tel Aviv University on Israel's newspaper Jerusalem Post on Thursday, the recent bellicose declarations by Syrian President Bashar Assad were heard much more loudly by the Israeli Jewish people than his statements calling for peace.

The warlike statements caused a further decline in the already low support for giving the Golan to Syria, even in exchange for full peace, and in the small number of those who believe such a peace is possible in the foreseeable future.

Assad has in recent weeks renewed a call for peace talks with Israel. Last month, he told the German magazine Der Spiegel that " We want to make peace with Israel."

But in an interview with the BBC on Monday, Assad cast doubt on Israel's desire for peace.

Source: Xinhua

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