Israel Underwhelmed by Syrian Overtures

[Jerusalem Post] Herb Keinon - Israeli diplomatic officials were not overly impressed Monday by a seven-minute interview Syrian Ambassador to Washington Imad Mustafa gave to Americans for Peace Now, in which he called for "an end to the state of war." "We have heard this type of thing from the Syrian ambassadors before in places like Washington and London," one senior diplomatic official said. "But why doesn't Syria's ambassador in Cairo say the same thing? Why do we not hear it from others, from Damascus? They are speaking to their audience in the West, giving them what they want to hear. They are not speaking to us." Another diplomatic official said the Syrians were "playing a double game. They are interested in a breakthrough with Washington, not with us. They want the process, not peace." Moshe Maoz, a professor emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, downplayed the importance of Mustafa's comments, saying they were "more of the same." The fourth round of indirect talks between Israel and Syria, with Turkey as the mediator, is scheduled to take place this week in Turkey.

2008-07-29 01:00:00

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