Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Shameless Syrian Regime: Annapolis Summit a Defeat for the Palestinians

The unprincipled Syrian regime wants to have it both ways. After attending the Annapolis meeting, defending that decision, being pleased that Condoleezza shook hands with its delegation and sent a warm message to its foreign minister, the regime now says the meeting was a defeat for the Palestinians! Was that a surprise for the regime? Of course not; then why did it agree to be a witness and a participant in that defeat? The regime does not tell us that, under the cover of Annapolis, it held secret meetings with the Israelis in Washington, D.C.

How can anyone have any respect left for this despicable regime? I wonder how many Maher Arrars the regime has agreed to torture for the CIA as a result of its meetings in Wahington, D.C.

-- Tony Sayegh

"A Syrian state-run newspaper on Saturday described this week's U.S.-sponsored Mideast conference as a defeat for the Palestinians and for peace in the region. In a surprise move lauded by participants at the time, Syria took part in the U.S.-brokered Mideast conference in Annapolis last week where Israel and the Palestinians announced that talks would resume after a violent seven-year freeze and agreed to try and reach an agreement by the end of 2008.

"The U.S. administration has the right to consider the Annapolis meeting a brilliant victory, but not for the Palestinian people ... only for Israel," said the front page editorial in the Tishrin daily. "While the Bush administration and Israel may consider what happened and what could happen to destroy the Palestinian cause a victory, we consider it a defeat for a just and comprehensive peace," Tishrin said. "That peace," it added, "can only be achieved by ending Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories."

The newspaper, which reflects government thinking, criticized U.S. President George W. Bush's statement at the opening session of the Annapolis meeting in which he referred to Israel as a Jewish state, calling it "a consecration of Israeli racism." It described the conference as "a carnival that reminds us of similar celebrations since Oslo until today, and of agreements that with time have gone with the wind."

Syria, which agreed to attend the conference only after receiving assurances that the issue of the occupied Golan Heights was added to the agenda, left Annapolis without a specific promise to restart stalled talks with Israel."

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