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Damascus Welcomes U.S. Diplomatic Efforts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Damascus, Asharq Al-Awsat- Syrian political circles have expressed support for US diplomatic efforts and statements concerning the peace process and advancing the Syrian-Israeli track, describing these efforts as a “declaration of good intentions” by the US side.

Informed sources in Damascus told Asharq Al-Awsat that Syria’s position on peace is still the same, which is based on the concept that “peace is the strategic option.” They said that this “requires the presence of a partner who wants and is able to make peace.” They added that “the old question is still the same, which says: Is there a partner in Israel?”

The informed sources continued by saying: “Syria supports the US efforts on the basis that land is not negotiable and that the negotiations should be on defining the [border] line of 4 June [ 1967] on the basis of the six points worked out in the indirect Syrian-Israeli negotiations held through Turkish mediation.” The sources stressed that “Syria will not negotiate on the withdrawal,” emphasizing that “the negotiations would be on defining the line of 4 June and the resulting issues from the full withdrawal.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last Thursday that her country is determined to get Syria and Lebanon involved in the talks with Israel in a bid to reach a “comprehensive” peace in the Middle East, which is part of the Arab peace initiative launched in 2002. Clinton’s statements were made following her talks with the Jordanian Monarch, King Abdullah II.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the people of the occupied Golan that included 697 persons, is currently visiting Syria. The delegation met the day before yesterday with Deputy Walid Junblatt, leader of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party, and Deputy Talal Arslan, head of the Lebanese Democratic Party, at the Al-Assad Library in Damascus. Junblatt said that “this objective and pan-Arab continuation of our long cause, represented in the confrontation with the Israeli occupation in the Golan, aims at ending the injustice and the occupation even in occupied Palestine.”

For his part, Arslan called for making Damascus “the permanent headquarters of such expanded meetings whose basis is the steadfast resistance.” He said: “The citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan have rejected the Israeli identity, and this is a source of pride and is a resistance action if it is compared with the criminality of the occupation.” Meanwhile, Sheikh Saqr Abu-Saleh said in a statement on behalf of the people of the Golan: “We will never have a truce with the Israeli enemy, neither through terrorizing us nor through intimidation, and we will continue to struggle for the liberation of the usurped Syrian land of the Golan.” Sheikh Ali Muaddi, head of the delegation of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, pointed out the importance of this meeting in “bolstering the steadfastness” and “fighting all the tyrannical racial methods, defying the Israeli intransigence, and breaking the ugly separation wall.”