Peres: Syria Says It Wants Peace but Keeps Aiming Missiles at Israel

Speaking at Israel Military Industries factory, president says Israel is interested only in peace, poses not threat to Lebanon or Syria.

Haaretz Service
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Haaretz Service

President Shimon Peres on Thursday declared that Israel seeks peace and that it poses no threat to Lebanon or Syria, but lamented the fact that Syria keeps arming itself while making claims it is interested in peace with Israel.

President Shimon Peres, May 2010.Credit: Itzik Ben-Malki

Peres, visiting Israel Military Industries factories, was asked about recent remarks made by Syrian President Bashar Assad, who said that Israel wasn't really interested in peace. In response, Peres replied that "Syria is taking simultaneous opposing actions. They talk peace while simultaneously manufacturing a huge store of 70,000 missiles on [Israel's] northern border, aimed at Israel."

The president added that "Israel is not threatening Lebanon, and is not threatening Syria. Our goal is only peace and I regret the fact that since the reign of [former Syrian President Hafez] Assad senior, who declined [Former Egyptian President Anwar] Sadat's invitation to join him at Camp David, Syria has adopted a hesitant policy and is not taking any real steps toward peace with Israel."

On Tuesday, Bashar Assad said that Peres had relayed a message announcing that Israel would relinquish the Golan Heights if Syria were to sever its ties to Iran and to known terror organizations.

According to a report in the Lebanese daily Al Safir, Peres relayed the message via Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who was visiting Damascus last week.

Peres' office denied the report and stressed that the content of the message was taken out of context. The president's office explained that the intent of the message was to make clear that Israel did not intend to attack Syria or make any moves that could lead to escalation of tension along Israel's shared border with Syria.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them