Thursday, May 29, 2008
"29/05/2008 In his first response to indirect peace talks with Syria, Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter gave a cautious welcome to the prospect of peace with Damascus on Thursday, saying it "could change the reality in the whole area."
Speaking during a 'Challenges to Homeland Security' international conference in Jerusalem, Dichter added that Syria must disband the headquarters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
"For 10 years, Syria has hosted the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups. A peace process with Syria is undoubtedly a strategic maneuver which can lead to a different reality in Lebanon, and for the entire area," Dichter claimed, addressing security chiefs and ministers from nine countries.
"[But] the headquarters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad cannot be tolerated by Israel, and cannot accompany peace talks. They must be gotten rid of as a condition for effective talks," he said, in an apparent reference to preconditions for direct negotiations.
During his speech, Dichter said Iran was the last remaining state sponsor of what he called “terror”, calling on the world community "to harm" the Islamic Republic. "Today, Iran is pushing regimes like Lebanon to host on its soil terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, which is the largest terrorist organizations in the world. It is a terrorist army. Iran has used and still uses Hezbollah as a proxy to carry out attacks," Dichter said.
"The development of nuclear weapons by a state with terrorist thinking is a lethal development," he added. "